Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Risotto: Worth the Wait

Last night I made risotto for the first time.
After the meal was cooked and dinner was eaten, I found myself asking two questions:

1) Why have I never made risotto before?

2) How many hours until I can eat it again for tomorrow's lunch?

Friends, I almost didn't wake up from the food coma this delicious risotto swept me into. The recipe, courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine, is surely a keeper. Adam even asked if we could make it in lieu of stuffing at Thanksgiving (While flattered, I respectfully declined. A girl just can't do without her favorite seasonal stuffing.).

I suppose what intimidated me about the risotto was the cooking process. You slowly add the broth over time, stirring constantly. Would I be patient enough? Could I handle the risotto-madness?

I didn't just handle it, friends. I owned it.

Another darling addition to this fall dish? Roasted butternut squash. Oh, yes. And don't forget about the toasted walnuts and freshly grated parmesan. Tastes like true autumn love to me.

A cautionary note: This is a dish that takes time, so forget your Rachael Ray speedy-pants. Just relax, take it easy, and know that your dinner is well worth the wait.

Is there a particular dish or food you've always wanted to try, but have been "afraid" to?

Butternut Squash Risotto
(recipe from Clean Eating Magazine)

This dish is delicious-ness to the extreme. I can't say anything else. I'm actually speechless.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • a little drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice (risotto)
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme leaves (I just used a sprinkling of dried)
  • 1 TBSP fresh sage, minced (again, I just used a sprinkling of dried)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash with a just a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread squash in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Set squash aside.

2) Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; keep warm.

3) In a pot, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until softened, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add rice to the pot and stir to coat with oil and onion.

4) Add 1/2 cup warm broth; simmer and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in another 1/2 cup of warm broth; simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is almost evaporated. Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup increments, adding more only after the previous addition has been absorbed. Rice is done when it's tender but still slightly firm and white in the center (not chalky!). Continue adding broth until only 1/2 cup remains.

5) Add thyme, sage, peas, and cheese to the pot with the last 1/2 cup of broth; stir until cheese melts. Remove pan from heat before all the liquid has absorbed. Gently fold in cooked squash and walnuts. Season risotto with salt and pepper.


  1. I've never made risotto myself, but it's on my list of things to make! Butternut squash and sage is so good together. I should give this a try! As for fears, I'm pretty brave in the kitchen, but puff pastry seems a bit intimidating... :)

  2. I loooove risotto - this looks amazing!

  3. I too am guilty of not making risotto often enough due to the time commitment required =X But it's great in the fall and winter! And then the heat of the stove is kind of nice.

  4. OMG, I am OBSESSED with risotto. I suggested it to my fiance tonight for dinner and he informed me that it's not "cold enough" yet.



  5. I love your enthusiasm for risotto... I just don't feel quite the same. Hmm, maybe I'll have to give it another shot!

  6. I have always been afraid of making risotto, but this recipe looks good enough to give it a try!

  7. hmm... there is a dish i'd like to try, grits. ive never had it or seen it in person either! i've seen it a lot on food network.

  8. I never cooked risotto before either. I should try it out when I have a long time to spend in the kitchen.

    You are on a roll with these Autumn recipes. Keep them coming!

  9. You totally made my mouth water!
    :) I love clean eating mag!

  10. Your so brave...I have never made risotta myself, and I am not sure if I ever will!! Although you do make it seem possible!!