Whether you’re fueling up for a big run or looking for one last hearty winter meal before spring actually springs, this winter squash risotto from chef Stephen Hamilton will fit the bill. Pair the creamy risotto and tender squash with a protein of your choosing or enjoy it on its own for a satisfying vegetarian dish.
- 2 medium sized winter squash like acorn
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup sherry wine
- 4 cups hot vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot or 1/2 a small white onion, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- olive oil as needed
- salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Using a heavy knife, split the acorn squash. On a sheet tray, coat the halves of squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them cut side down on the sheet tray and bake about 15-20 minutes until tender.
- Remove and let cool.
- When cool enough to handle, remove flesh from skin and dice the flesh into 1 inch pieces.
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add onion. Sauté 2 minutes until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Add the arborio rice and sauté 1 minute (this will help to open the rice and let it start releasing its starch).
- Deglaze pan with sherry wine and reduce heat to medium
- Add the bay leaf and begin slowly adding vegetable stock, one cup at a time, making sure to stir the rice with a wooden spoon. Wait until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup.
- Stirring will also help release the starch which will make the dish creamy.
- When you have gotten down to your last cup of stock, stir in the acorn squash.
- Once all the liquid is added, taste and check to make sure the rice is done but still has some bite.
- Add more liquid if needed.
- Finish by mixing in the butter, cheese, minced herbs.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Top with a little shaved parmesan for garnish.