I love to make this recipe when butternut squash is abundant at the farmers market in the fall–especially when I’m prepping single foods for baby to try. Just roast a few extra squash in the first step and puree them up. Butternut squash will be one of the first foods Katie eats in her life!
This recipe is excerpted from Jack Bishop’s amazing cookbook: A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. If you like farmers markets, buy this today. It’s organized by season so you will find delicious recipes for everything your market offers.
I love to serve this with a Northern Italian white wine, such as Soave. An elegant meal, that’s easy and inexpensive!
2 1/2 pounds winder squash, halved, seeds and strings removed with a spoon and reserved
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 Tablespoon melted
1 quart vegetable broth or water
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, mined
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for the table
1 Tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
Freshly grated nutmeg
Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the squash, flesh side up, on a rimmed backing sheet. Brush the squash with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set the squash aside. When cool, use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skins into a bowl. Discard the skins and lightly mash the flesh with the spoon until smooth. (You should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.)
Meanwhile, place the squash scrapings (the seeds and strings) in a medium saucepan. Add the vegetable broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the flavor has been extracted from the squash seeds and strings, about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup, pressing on the squash scrapings to extract as much liquid as possible. (Do not wash the saucepan.) Return the squash broth to the empty saucepan along with enough water to make 6 cups. (You’ll probably have to add about 2 cups water.) Bring the squash broth to a simmer. Turn off the heat and cover to keep the broth warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and the oil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, add the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until the wine nearly evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding the broth in 3/4-cup increments and stirring often until the rice is creamy (not soupy) and soft but still a bit al dente, about 25 minutes. (You probably won’t use all the broth.)
Remove the saucepan from the heat and vigorously stir in the roasted squash, cheese, sage, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Keep stirring with the wooden spoon until the butter melts, about 1 minute. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and nutmeg to taste. Serve immediately, passing more grated cheese at the table.