Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Butternut Squash and Red Chard Rissoto

This was my first foray into the world of risotto and I was a bit apprehensive.  After all risotto is not a dish that you can dash off in 20 minutes. As it turns out it really wasn’t difficult, just a bit time consuming.  But what a reward! A creamy, delicious and comforting dish bursting with colour and flavour.

I have always loved the creamy goodness of butternut squash but have to admit I am a newcomer to chard.  I have really been missing out! This stuff is fabulous and beautiful too.  The flavour is milder than spinach and it holds up quite well to cooking.  It is wonderful in this risotto but just as good sauted in olive oil with garlic.  It needs to cook a bit longer than spinach, around 7 or 8 minutes and wow.  My seven year old asked for seconds!

Butternut Squash and Red Chard Risotto

  • 1 Butternut Squash (or more if you want to freeze some for next time)
  • 2 large or 3 medium Red Chard leaves cut into bite sizes pieces
  • Ribs from the Chard leaves finely diced
  • ½ medium onion finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan grated
  • 2 cups Vegetable or Chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked short grain rice, such as Arborio
  • ¼ cup dry wine
  • 2 TBSP milk or cream
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp butter or more coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • The first thing to do is to cook the squash.  Halve it, remove the seeds and place it face down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size.   Let it cool, peel and mash.  Keep one cup of the mash for the recipe and freeze the rest.  [Next time I think that I will cook extra squash and freeze it. It takes just as much time to bake 2 or 3 squash as it does to bake one and that makes one less step for the next risotto, so why not?]
  • Once the squash is ready, put the water and broth in a pot and bring to a boil, keep warm on a low heat.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat.  Add the chard leaves and sauté for 7 or 8 minutes, until wilted.  Remove from pan and put to one side.
  • Melt butter in the same pan and add the diced onion and red chard ribs.  Sauté for 3 minutes and then add rice.  Sauté for one more minute.

  • Now add the wine and ½ cup of the warm broth.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
  • Continue adding ½ a cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly and ensuring the liquid is absorbed between each addition. Continue until you have added 2 cups.
  • Stir in the squash and then continue adding broth as before until it is all added and cooked in.

  • Stir in the chard and milk or cream.  Remove from heat,  stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Now enjoy the creamy delicious fruits of your labour, not to mention the compliments!

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