Risotto With Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

I usually try to cook something big on Sunday that will last me throughout the week. I especially do this when I expect it to be a busy week at work that will send me home at the end of the day feeling like I could just go to sleep without dinner.

Since skipping meals isn’t a particularly good idea, I figured I should make something. I settled on a buttersquash-mushroom risotto that Kath featured on her blog.

I love risotto —  well, I love the one risotto that I’ve ever tried to make.  But, given that I had just made my apple-sausage risotto a few weeks back, I wanted to try a new one. I figured I didn’t need to eat all that sausage so close together.

But I had a cooking conundrum. I didn’t know what the heck a butternut squash was.  I had never seen or tasted one, and I didn’t know what they looked like. So, I haplessly asked a Fresh Market employee for help this afternoon when I couldn’t find a marker for them.

Fresh Market to the rescue!

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I adapted my recipe slightly from Kath’s, which is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. The biggest difference was they both used steel cut oats. I have never had steel cut oats, but I have had aborio rice before, and I know I like it. So, I decided to use the regular risotto-style rice.

Ingredients: Butternut squash, 8 oz. baby portabello mushrooms, 1 ½ cup aborio rice, one garlic clove, 1 tbsp butter, 1 can vegetable soup (2 cups), 1/3 cup wine

Directions: Cut squash in half – this is a pain in the ass. It’s like cutting a pumpkin, it’s so tough. And then you have to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, just like a pumpkin. You can roast the squash in the oven at 400 for 40 minutes or microwave it. I placed the half of squash in a microwavable dish that contained 1 inch of water. I microwaved it for about 8 minutes. (It probably needed to be more like 10 minutes, but I didn’t know what I was doing.)

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Cut out the squash, cubing it, and set aside. Wash mushrooms and quarter. Slice garlic clove. In a pot, melt butter and add garlic. Then sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes, then add squash, letting it cook for about two minutes.

Stir in aborio rice and add 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed. Then add more broth and continue stirring. Do this until all the broth is absorbed.

Then add wine! I used chardonnay, mostly because that’s the type of white wine I like the best, so I had no problem drinking it afterward.

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Ready for the week!: I divided the dish into thirds and put it into separate little Tupperware containers. Why thirds? I only had three clean Tupperware containers.

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I really wanted to eat it right then, but I had made chicken for dinner. I sneaked a taste anyway, and it looks like a winner. I think I might still prefer my sausage-apple one, but this is a good vegetarian version.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other half of the butternut squash!

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