Y'all know that this week we are exploring Winter Squash. Well . . . in the South, we know there there is one kind of squash. It's yellow and we can grow it like kudzo in the summer. The idea of Winter Squash is a little strange.
Strange . . . I guess I am.
I love Butternut squash ~ The Flavor Bible suggests flavors such as vanilla and thyme. I decided to try this in a Risotto. I have a Bourbon Vanilla that might work perfectly.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Vanilla
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbs BOURBON VANILLA
3 cups peeled cubed butternut squash
2 Tbs OLIVE OIL
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup WHITE WINE
2 Tbs BUTTER
1/2 cup freshly grated PARMESAN
1/2 tsp SALT
2 Tbs fresh THYME
In a medium saucepan, warm the broth with Vanilla over medium-high heat. When the broth comes to a simmer reduce the heat to low. Add the diced butternut squash and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a Risotto pot, add olive oil and saute the onion until tender but not brown. Add the rice and stir once or twice. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Slowly cook the risotto by adding 1 ladle of the simmering broth and stir then cover. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1 ladle at a time, allowing each addition to of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Turn off the heat. Briskly stir in the remaining butternut squash, Parmesan, the butter, and salt if needed. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
I thought the flavors complimented nicely . . . Chef Rob was not convinced. Bill . . . well, he will wait till summer for some real squash.
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Happy Cooking y'all~