Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Risotto with Butternut Squash and Rosemary

As the weather cools, it's time for some warm comfort food. Perhaps some risotto?!?!?!

For risotto, you need Arborio rice, a short grain rice that is conducive to the creamy delicious rice dish. To make risotto, use this recipe here. The only change I made this time was to stir in some chopped, fresh rosemary in the beginning while I cooked the onions, then another small pinch at the very end. This gives the rosemary a chance to create two layers of flavor, a deep, embedded flavor and a bright, green, piney flavor at the end.

To kick up the risotto, I took a butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced it, about 1/4 inch pieces. Toss with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and put into a preheated 450 degree oven until tender and golden. I think it was about 20-30 minutes, I wasn't really paying attention.

Tiny orange jewels. Little pieces of candy really. The flavor was mild, earthy and sweet. Soft and tender. Really delightful. These roasted pieces of butternut squash would be good with any number of dishes. But for this meal, I had plans.

While the risotto was cooking, I seared two seasoned chicken breasts. When they were done cooking, I used some shallots, a bit more risotto, Chardonnay and chicken broth to make a wonderfully rich pan sauce that was spooned over the sliced chicken. Together with the Risotto and Butternut Squash, this was a wonderful, nearly perfect autumnal meal! I choose to spoon the butternut squash over the top of the risotto, instead of stirring it into the risotto. Two reasons; 1) once cooked down, the small squash left us with about a cup of cooked squash, not very much and considering I made probably twice as much risotto as I needed, 2) I wanted to save the second half of risotto for some treats later this week. Do as you wish!


DancerInDC said...

This made me extremely happy. Not only was it the ideal meal for fall, but it featured my favorite - risotto! The butternut bites really helped to balance the flavor of the dish, and I loved the depth of rosemary this time.

The chicken was a great compliment - you could put some of it on your fork with the risotto and it was delish.

Faye said...

Mmmm, that looks so yummy! I love risotto and this dish looks perfect for the chilly weather. :)

Em said...

I made a sweet potato risotto last week, which has tiny diced pieces of potato mixed in with the rice. Yours looks better, and I'm sure it was. *sigh*