When squash is in season I can't help but want to cook with it as much as possible, like my love affair with pumpkins! This butternut squash was huge so I used it to make butternut squash soup and risotto with freshly picked chanterelles when friends were visiting a few weekends back. When I was living with my cousins in London a few years ago my cousin's wife would make this delicious Butternut Squash Risotto. It quickly became my favourite meal she made and every fall when the squash is in season I immediately think of that delicious meal. Risotto is the perfect food for a rainy day, instantly warming you up with delicious fall flavours. I always keep some in the pantry because it is so versatile and you can add so many different things to it. My go to flavours for risotto, other than this recipe are: mixed mushroom, mixed vegetable or seafood risotto, depending on the mood I'm in! Below is my all time favourite recipe that my cousin Michelle taught me, with some chanterelles added in, because why not?!
- 1 small butternut squash (or half a large one, like I used)
- bowlful of chanterelles (or regular mushrooms)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of arborio rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 shallots
- 1 glove of garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4-6 cups of stock (vegetarian, mushroom or chicken)
- salt & pepper to taste
- splash of cream
- chopped parsley for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and chop up butternut squash into small cubes. Roast with olive oil, salt and pepper for roughly 30 minutes. Poke them with a fork to make sure they are soft but not overcooked. Set aside.
2. Clean off chanterelles and set aside. In large pot heat up 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter on medium to high heat. Chop up garlic and shallots and throw in pot. Once they have cooked, roughly 2-3 minutes, add chanterelles and let cook. As you let everything begin cooking, prepare your stock in a medium sized pan. I used 2 mushroom stock cubes with 4 cups of water (with 2 extra cups on the side if I need it.)
3. After the mushrooms have cooked add rice to pot, stir all together then add wine. Cook on medium heat. Continue stirring and put timer on for 20 minutes, this will give you a good idea of when the risotto should be cooked. Once the wine has absorbed into the rice, add a ladle full of stock to pot. It is important to only add a ladle amount of stock to the rice one at a time so that the rice can slowly cook. You also have to continuously stir the rice as it cooks with the liquid (this might seem very annoying, Dave hates to do it, but it's how my dad taught me.)
4. Once you had added all the stock and the rice has begun to puff slightly and look more like risotto add the butternut squash. This usually happens once 20 minutes is up, however, be sure to taste the rice to make sure it isn't crunchy anymore. If the rice is cooked you can turn the heat off for the last steps. After adding the butternut squash, add a splash of cream to make the risotto even creamier. Finally add the parmesan to the risotto and stir all in.
5. Let the risotto sit for a few minutes before plating so all the liquids can be absorbed and the risotto isn't a runny substance. Serve it up and top with chopped parsley and grated parmesan. Serve with a glass of wine and enjoy! It also makes great leftovers for lunch.