Have you ever eaten a buttercup squash? There are numerous types of squash out there, and hub and i were delighted to find this type. This year was the first time we've had buttercup squash, and it's rich, velvety texture is what made hub ask for it over and over again. Instead of always making it the same old way, cubed, drizzled with oil, and roasted with salt and pepper; I decided to make it another way that I knew I would love; in a risotto.
I love making risotto. It's strangely therapeutic, watching the little grains of rice expand and stretch while simultaneously emboldening and softening it's texture and taste. After making it for the first time earlier this year, I've had it on my mind constantly. I was excited to add a seasonal twist to it. This would be a perfect side at a Thanksgiving feast, I believe. Rice has been a part of my family's Thanksgiving tradition since before I can remember. It must have something to do with my father having it at every meal. The Thanksgiving feast is no exception.
I wonder if they'd let me bring some of this as a substitution to the regular white stuff...
buttercup squash risotto
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4-5 medium-large sized shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
1½ washed arborio rice
6-7 cups of stock, plus more if needed
1/2 cup white wine substitute with: ½ cup of stock with 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice added
1 Tablespoons butter
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup cream, or half and half
2 cups buttercup pureé
2½ Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
one of my favorite parts of risotto
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper cooking until the shallots are clear. Add the garlic and thyme, until aromatic. Add the rice, stirring well so it's all incorporated.
Cook for a few minutes until the rice becomes clear in color, be sure to stir constantly so the kernels do not brown. Add in the white wine, and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add ½ cup of the broth and stir until it is almost absorbed entirely. Keep adding ½ cup of the broth at a time, continually stirring after each addition and repeating until the rice is tender, but slightly firm when you bite it. Also referred to as al dente. Add in the cream, and parmesan cheese until combined, and remove from heat. Stir in the butter until melted, then add the puree and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of ground cloves, or fresh parsley.
I love being able to reheat this and freezing some for those days when i really want risotto, but don't have the time to devote to it. Just add some broth, and reheat either by stove top, or in the microwave.