Risotto is one of those meals that takes a bit of commitment, but is totally worth it. The slow cooking of the rice creates a creamy texture and with the addition of the roasted butternut squash it tastes like such a decadent meal. For this recipe I wanted to incorporate lots of fresh flavors including the thyme, sage, and kale.
1 cup Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
1 quart of your favorite stock
1 ½ cups roasted butternut squash, pureed (about 1 medium squash) (See below for roasting instructions)
1 bunch of Lacinato kale
1 quart of fresh mushrooms, cleaned
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme
Zest of ½ a lemon
5 Tbsp of butter, separated
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
When making Risotto, it is best to prep all of your ingredients before you start because you will need to constantly stir the risotto once it is in the pan.
Put your stock into a small saucepan over low heat. Slice the kale lengthwise in half, remove the larger part of the stem, and then slice the kale into very thin strips. Wash the mushrooms and thinly slice them. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
Once you are ready to start, place a large saucepan over medium heat. Put 3 Tbsp of the butter in the pan along with the olive oil. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid form the mushrooms has cooked off. Add in the garlic along with 1 tsp of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Next add in the rice and wine. Turn the heat down to medium low and start to stir the risotto. The rice will begin to soak up the liquid and become translucent. This is the point where you need to continuously stir the risotto.
As soon as the risotto has soaked up most of the liquid in the pan, add a ½ cup of the warm stock. Continue to stir add the stock ½ cup at a time over the next 30 minutes or so. The risotto rice will slowly cook and soak up the stock as it is added. After about 30 minutes, add the kale, butternut squash puree, fresh herbs, and lemon zest. Cook for a few more minutes and taste the risotto for doneness. The rice should be tender, no longer crunchy, but still holds its texture. Before serving add in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and the grated parmesan cheese.
Roasted Butternut Squash:
Preheat you oven to 400 degrees. Carefully slice the stem off of the squash and peel the squash. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds (I always save them, rinse under cold water separating the seeds, then allow the seeds to dry. Coat them in a little olive oil and salt, then lightly toast)
Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes, drizzle with some olive oil and put into a roasting pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then blend or mash into a puree.
~ Recipe and Photos by Meghan Feilmeier
Follow Meg on Instagram @meghan_moves and @meghan_feilmeier_photo