Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Butternut Squash Risotto from @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving already, thinking about dishes to serve. Shopping for the basics. Finding a storage place to put everything until then.

I've been thinking about new desserts? How about a cranberry cheesecake with white chocolate shavings? Or a gluten-free pumpkin pie with heaps of whipped cream? Or cupcakes in the shape of my dog Sparky for the kids?  Yes, I saw something like that in a magazine and I've got to try. White fluffy fur piped onto cupcakes. Sweet little red tongue. Soooo darling!

But right now, I'm thinking savory. Side dishes.

Yes, I'll make whipped mashed potatoes and gravy. Yes, I'll make stuffing. And sweet potatoes. (Probably Cleo's recipe from yesterday.) And I'm definitely including cheddar cheese popovers (gluten-free and regular recipe coming up in 2 weeks).

But how about a rice dish? With cheese! [BTW, I'm in hyper-cheese mode. I have a Cheese Shop Mystery coming out in February. AS GOUDA AS DEAD. Yes, many future recipes will feature cheese!]

I found this in a Food Network magazine. Butternut Squash Risotto. The recipe was for 6. When testing recipes, I find it's better to try some out for my husband and me first, so this recipe has been tweaked for 2. If you aren't having the entire clan (be it healthy or dysfunctional) for Thanksgiving, consider a quiet, intimate dinner for 2. Or triple or quadruple this, if necessary.



(tweaked from the online recipe to serve 2)

1 cup chopped butternut squash
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (regular or gluten-free if necessary)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup risotto rice
1 teaspoon each Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping


Be patient. This takes time but the result is incredible. If you don’t already buy the butternut squash cut up, then peal and cut the squash. Chop. Measure 1 cup. 

TIP:  Set the rest of the squash on a baking tray brushed with oil and salt and put that in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes; to be used as a side dish.

Meanwhile bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and reduce the heat. Keep at a simmer. Very important.

In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cup of squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. I like mine extra golden. Add ¼ cup water and cook the squash until tender. It will SPIT. And then deglazes. Cook about 10-15 minutes. Use a spoon to mash the squash, pressing it into the side of the pan.

Stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Add a ladelful of hot stock to the rice and cook, stirring, until absorbed. Don’t add too much stock at once and make sure it is hot; otherwise, it will stop the cooking process for the rice. 

Continue to add stock, a ladelful at a time, until absorbed. The entire cooking process takes about 20 minutes. Start tasing for doneness after 15 minutes. The rice should be tender, not too chewy. If you’ve used all the stock and the rice is not yet “al dente,” heat a few cups more of stock or water and add ladlefuls, as before. The risotto is done when you can drag the spoon through the center and make a clean line in the rice for a few seconds.

Top with Parmesan.

I served this with a turkey breast, simply basted with brown sugar, mustard, and oil. Cook slowly, at 300 degrees F, wrapped in foil, for 45 minutes. Then remove foil, turn oven to broil, and broil the breast for about 5-10 minutes until the skin is crispy. 

By the way, don't miss our fabulous Thanksgiving page! 
Dozens of recipes from us over the years! Yum!

Click the picture or here for the link!


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  1. We're on the same wavelength Daryl! I'm making roasted butternut squash pasta next week--yummmmm xo

    1. Oh, yummy! Butternut squash is really versatile. I had no idea. Just got into the veggie this past year. It's lovely. Especially easy if you can find it already cut up in the grocery store.

      Daryl/ Avery

  2. What a tasty idea.
    Risotto is so soothing and good tasting.

    1. I think it's soothing, too! Real comfort food. Thanks.

      Daryl / Avery

  3. What a lovely healthy dinner! I bet it was delish!

  4. I love this, Daryl! I won't wait until Thanksgiving through because I have everything I need to make it tomorrow. Thanks for something deliciously different.



  5. This is worth trying thank you for posting.