A favorite here at Two Crones Farm, the butternut squash is an easy to grow, trellis vine that produces an abundance of fruit with fairly minimal water requirements; a gardener's trifecta as well as a chef's delight!
I began with a craving for a savory baked rice casserole that would give us a few meals for the busy week ahead. Capay Valley's Farm Fresh To You CSA box had arrived full of fresh, organic veges that incorporated nicely into the recipe below. For those of you that tried FFTY in the past, I'm happy to say that their quality has greatly improved and the new customization feature is nice, too. We get out delivery first thing Thursday mornings & we add other options from our local farmer's market.
Chef Shel's Tip: Use the freshest ingredients of the highest quality that you can afford. The flavors and nutritional boost you get from good soil is worth the effort.
Roasted Butternut Risotto w/Shitake Mushroom & Leeks
Serves 4 Main Dish, 6-8 Side Dish
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes
3 cups Butternut Squash, cubed
1 cup water
2 cups fat-free, low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 Tbls Fresh Sage or 1 teas. Dry Rubbed Sage
1 lg Leek, well rinsed and finely chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teas. Olive Oil
1 cup Arborio rice (or other short grain rice)
1/2 cup dry white wine, (yes, use the good stuff!)
1 bunch Red Chard, evenly chopped (any hardy greens will work)
10-12 medium Shitake Mushrooms, rough chopped
1 teas Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
1 teas Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1/4 teas Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 teas Kosher Salt
1/4 teas fresh Ground Peppercorn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Sprigs of fresh Thyme (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Place squash in oven to bake 30 minutes or until fork tender; cool. Peel, deseed, remove membrane and cube, set aside. Increase oven to 400F.
3. Add water, broth and sage to medium saucepan, (do not boil). Heat 1 teas Olive Oil in large oven safe skillet, add leeks; saute for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add rice; saute 1 minute. Add cubed squash, broth mixture, wine, mushrooms, herbs and salt/pepper. Stir to blend all ingredients; simmer 5 minutes.
4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Check and stir gently, bake for additional 10-15 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed by rice. Risotto should retain a nice dome shape but not be sticky.
5. While risotto is baking, add olive oil to medium saute pan on medium-high heat. Add chard, leeks, & red pepper flakes; saute for 2-3 minutes. Add a little more wine, cover, lower heat to low allowing greens to steam for 3-4 minutes more or until tender. Salt & pepper to taste.
6. Remove risotto from oven. On a warm plate or serving bowl put a layer of greens down as base for risotto. Add a serving of risotto onto greens, sprinkle grated parmesan and dress with sprig of thyme.
Wine Pairing: 2014 Carneros Chardonnay - Rombauer