Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Risotto Tastes like a Big Warm Hug

Whenever I'm enjoying a bit of self-pity, I make butternut squash risotto. The classic pairing of empty starch with generous quantities of fat make it an ideal comfort food. Already this fall, I've eaten it three times.

This recipe, culled from a Williams-Sonoma autumn catalog, taught me how to cook risotto from scratch. It taught me how to caramelize onions. It taught me how to deglaze a pan with white wine. It made me love sage. This risotto was the first food I ever made that tasted good enough to serve in a restaurant. Enamored, I made it every week for months until my husband grew to hate butternut squash (more for me, fool).


This recipe is easily veganized: substitute vegan margarine for butter and omit the cheese.

I typically use dried herbs at a ratio of 1 tablespoon fresh : 1 teaspoon dried.

One large yellow onion should yield 2/3 cup caramelized onions: slice into thin half moons and stir frequently in a bit of oil or margarine over low heat until sweet and browned, 15-20 minutes. Add a teensy bit of brown sugar if you choose.

Of course, the best part of making risotto is polishing off the wine remaining after you've deglazed the pan. If you're going to stand at the stove stirring non-stop for 30 minutes, you might as well keep it interesting, right?


  1. That recipe sounds amazing. I adore butternut squash, but I haven't tried it in risotto yet. I am definitely making this recipe this fall! Thanks for sharing.

  2. That looks and sounds so good! I've never made or eaten risotto before. Maybe it's time for me to give it a try, YUM!

  3. OOoh I want to be hugged by that! I love risotta but I've never made it with butternut squash. Your photos always make me so hungry!

  4. I love butternut squash risotto, I've made it loads this winter already. I love it with grilled tofu & broccoli.

  5. Looks like rice has become your new best friend! I can't wait to try this (I got 2 darling butternuts in my 'bargin bag' at the market this morning). So thanks!

  6. I love the warm colors of fall food. My first experience with risotto didn't live up to the hype but I think I'm ready to try again!

  7. Ha! Brilliant post. Thanks for the awesome idea!
    Eco Mama

  8. Yum! I have a friend who is going to go nuts over this recipe. She loves anything that has to do with butternut squash.


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