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Squash Your Risotto Fears!

The butternut squash is a classic fall and winter veggie that's packed with vitamin A (457% of your daily allowance in one cup!) and other nutrients like fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Try out this recipe to use the butternut squash in February's produce bag! Don't be afraid of risotto's pricey, finicky reputation, though! It's just like cooking any other rice, but to get that creamy risotto texture, it needs a little more attention than cooking normal rice. Even if you've never cooked a risotto before, this recipe is a great place to start!

Butternut Squash Risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2-3 Tbsp mint (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 lb butternut squash (cubed); this is about half of a medium squash
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to simmer and keep on medium-low heat.
  2. In a wide pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter and add the garlic and onion, stirring until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chili flakes and cumin, if you want to use them, then saute for thirty seconds.
  3. Add the squash and cook on medium-high heat until it softens slightly. Add the rice along with 1 more Tbsp of butter. Mix well with the veggies.
  4. Cook the rice and the veggies for about two minutes to toast the rice, then begin adding the vegetable stock 1/3 cup at a time. Here's the trick: don't let the rice dry out! Keep adding stock as needed to make sure your dish keeps that creamy risotto texture.
  5. Cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender and creamy and the squash is well cooked. Mix in the parmesan and the remaining butter. Fold in the chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Makes three servings.

Photo creds and recipe inspiration from Savita at Chef de Home!


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