Squash risotto

Oh, Risotto’s not that hard!

People avoid making risotto because you have to keep stirring it and stirring it, but it’s not really that bad if you’re hanging out in the kitchen anyway.

This makes a good solid winter main dish, fancy enough for company.

How to make leek and squash risotto:

Set the oven to 400 F. Slice a winter squash (I usually use a butternut squash) in half and scoop out the seeds. Put it in the oven, cut side up, and roast for an hour or until tender. Let cool, peel off the skin, and mash. Peeling off the skin is a nasty tiresome job, but cooking the squash first makes it easier.

In a large saucepan, boil water with chopped carrots and celery and miso in it. If you don’t care about it being vegetarian, you can use reheated chicken soup for this, or throw in a chicken bouillon cube.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add 2 chopped leeks (or substitute a chopped onion) and stir over medium heat until softened. Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 1/2 cups of rice. Stir the rice for one or two minutes, and add a cup of white wine. Stir two more minutes until most of the wine has evaporated, and add two ladles (about a cup) of the simmering miso soup.

Keep stirring and adding cups of soup until the rice is tender, about half an hour. In the last ten minutes, add the mashed squash. When the rice is done, fold in a cup of grated parmesan or asiago cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a large green salad.

Vegetarian or vegan

This risotto is vegetarian, but if you want it to be vegan substitute silken tofu for the cheese at the end.

Can I keep squash risotto for later?

Yes, this will be better the next day, and you can keep it in the refrigerator, well sealed up in a tupperware, for a week. It won’t freeze well though.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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