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Blue Hubbard Squash Risotto

Updated: Oct 15, 2017

In my last post, I talked about a variety of squash and did a comparison between them. Blue Hubbard Squash is still my favorite. To me this squash is perfect for risotto with its beautiful nutty flavor. I'll walk you through each step of making risotto. It may try your patience because there is a lot of stirring but trust me it is so worth it! Here's what I did with mine...

It starts with an onion. I have a lot of people asking me about how to easily cut onions so I will show you pictures of how I do it. Slice the onion in half through the root.

Cut off a small amount at the top of the onion. Remove the skin and it should look like this with half of the root still in tact.

Cut along the lines in the onion with the tip of the knife, being careful to cut close to the root but not all the way through it. The bigger the space between cuts, the larger your pieces will be. With my lines I wanted my onion small dice so I cut several lines.

Now turn the onion the other way. And start cutting towards the root. It is pretty important that all of the pieces are close to the same size so they cook evenly.

If you still have a lot of onion at the root, don't waste it, just cut it up and add it to the rest.

Melt half of the butter (or oil) in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook stirring often until they start to color. Add the wine to prevent them from burning and continue cooking. This is about 10 minutes.

Continue cooking until they are caramelized and look like this. If they start to burn, just add a little more wine or water to allow them to continue cooking without burning. They will release their natural sugars and those sugars will turn a nice brown. This takes a bit of patience but it is worth it! overall time was about 15 minutes, but this depends on the size of your onion is, how intense your heat is, and how much liquid you add.

Now add the rest of the butter (or oil) to the onions and allow to melt. Add the Arborio and stir for about 2 minutes while cooking over medium-high heat.

This is a really important step. You have to coat the Arborio in fat and allow it to cook a little. This softens the outer edges and prepares them for the next step. Notice in the first picture how white the grains are and in the second they are more translucent.

When I make risotto, I always have a second pot with chicken stock (you could substitute vegetable stock if you wanted to keep it vegan) in it to keep it hot while I am adding it. Now you will begin adding stock one or two ladles at a time. You have to stir it often while it is cooking. The Arborio will start to absorb the stock and the liquid will start to thicken.

When it looks like this, it is time to add more stock. Add 1-2 ladles and continue stirring. Repeat until all of the stock has been added.

Most likely with your last addition, it will end up looking like this. That is good. It means that the Arborio has absorbed almost all of the liquid that it can handle. That means you are on the home stretch with stirring! Let it cook to your desired thickness. Some people like more liquid in their risotto, some like it thicker. I personally like mine thicker so I cook a while longer.

Now it is time to stir in that beautiful Blue Hubbard squash. In my last post I roasted this squash and walked you through the process, but the short version is that I peeled and cleaned the seeds out of the squash. Then I cut into bite sized pieces and tossed in grape seed oil (just enough to coat them) and added salt and pepper. I roasted for about 15 minutes until fork-tender. Stir the squash into the risotto and cook stirring until the Arborio is al dente (or slightly firm in the middle when you bite it.) Stir in your spices and Parmesan.

Serve with a glass of oak-aged Chardonnay and enjoy!

#goodfood #cookingathome #foodandwine #fallharvest #recipe

Here is the Recipe: Yields 4 servings Time Approximately 1 hour

  • 1 Blue Hubbard Squash (2-3 cups diced)

  • Grape Seed oil to coat

  • 2 Tbls butter (or sub vegetable oil if you want it vegan)

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 cup Arborio Rice

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

  • 5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 tsp ground sage

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme

  • dash Cardamom

  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Cut the skin off of the squash. Cut in half and remove all seeds. Cut the squash into bite-size pieces.

  3. Place the squash in a large bowl. Add Grape seed oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place in a roasting pan and bake about 15 minutes until the squash is fork tender.

  4. Melt half of the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until the onions start to color.

  5. Stir in the wine, being sure to scrape any brown off the the bottom of the pot.

  6. Continue cooking the onions, stirring, until the onions are caramelized.

  7. Heat the chicken stock in a separate pot

  8. Add the rest of the butter and then stir in the Arborio. Cook stirring for about 2 minutes.

  9. Add 1 cup of stock and stir until the liquid thickens and is almost gone. Repeat adding 1/2 to 1 cup of stock at a time until all of the stock has been added and the rice is al dente.

  10. Stir in the roasted squash

  11. Stir in the Parmesan and spices.

  12. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

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