SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO
The Spice Kitchen
by Katie Luber & Sara Engram
We love risotto—not just the creamy finished product, but also the process of making it. There's something about gently coaxing moisture into each grain of rice that is supremely satisfying. Maybe it's because the process reminds us that some things can't be rushed. We also love the results and the many variations. This one, featuring butternut squash, is among our all-time favorites—probably because it stars sage, one of our very favorite herbs.
This risotto is an elegant accompaniment to an autumn dinner. With a salad, it could also serve as the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal.
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth or stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped yellow onion
4 cups peeled & cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 cup Arborio or medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Salt and coarse black pepper
Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Decrease the heat to low and keep the broth warm.
Melt the butter in a medium-size, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the squash and sage and continue to saute for an additional 2 minutes. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the rice and cook until a white spot appears in the center of the grains, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the broth, 1 cup at a time, and continue simmering and stirring until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and hazelnuts and season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon each.