Butternut Squash and Saffron Risotto

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Butternut Squash and Saffron Risotto

Butternut Squash and Saffron Risotto

This is the most popular risotto we serve at The Vineyard, and I love it, too. The saffron-infused stock and mashed roasted squash seem to intensify the flavor of the risotto. If you are using carnaroli rice, my grain of choice, follow the recipe closely and keep the heat low when you add it, otherwise the rice can break down and produce a sticky risotto. You can also finish it with a sprinkling of dehydrated, crisp butternut squash along with the Parmesan cheese. A small herb salad is an ideal accompaniment.
Ingredients

– SERVES 4.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus making the stock.
– COOKING TIME 55 minutes.
– 1 small butternut squash, unpeeled, quartered lengthwise and seeded.
– 3¾ cups Vegetable Stock.
– 2 pinches saffron strands.
– 1¼ sticks unsalted butter.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 1½ cups risotto rice, such arborio or carnaroli.
– 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
– 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt.
– 1 tablespoon snipped chives.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
– Dehydrated Pumpkin Crisp., to serve (optional).

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the oven to 315°F. Put the butternut squash in a roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast 45 minutes, or until very tender.
Step 2: When the squash has been in the oven about 30 minutes, start to make the risotto. Heat the stock and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to very low. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the rice and mix with a wooden spoon over low heat until it is coated in the butter and onion mixture.
Step 3: Add the hot stock to the pan, little by little, stirring continuously until the liquid is absorbed before adding more stock. Carry on adding the stock, stirring to stop it sticking, about 20 minutes until the rice has a lovely creamy texture.
Step 4: When the squash is cooked, and while the risotto is still cooking, remove the squash from the roasting pan and leave until it is just cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh away from the skin into a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. When the rice is almost cooked, fold in the mashed squash, the Parmesan, yogurt, chives and the remaining butter. If the risotto is a little thick, add a few more spoonfuls of stock to loosen it, then season well with salt and pepper and serve immediately with pumpkin crisp scattered over the top, if you like.

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