This recipe has seen several variations over the course of this blog.
The first version, made when we were newly vegetarian and pre-food intolerance mayhem, was amazing. It was the first risotto I had ever made. And the first risotto I had ever had sans cheese.
Enter in a nightshade intolerance, and the recipe had to be updated. Version 2.0 swapped out the red peppers and substituted onions in it’s place. Again, amazing.
Our current variation came about because of my (ridiculously annoying) sensitivity to all forms of alcohol, including cooking wine. Meaning it had to be omitted from the recipe.
In it’s place, I use apple cider. And it honestly makes my heart sing to be able to cook with it. If I could subside of apple cider all day, every day…I totally would.
This risotto is the perfect main or side dish for Thanksgiving, and has been part of our traditional dinner for the past 4 years.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 small butternut squash diced into 1/2-inch cubes (approx. 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion red or white, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbs freshly chopped parsley or basil
Steam the squash over boiling water until tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Measure out 2 cups of the squash and set aside; reserve any remaining squash for another use.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Add the squash and apple cider and stir gently until the liquid is absorbed.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. continue to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each time until the liquid is absorbed before the next addition, until the risotto is creamy and the rice is just al dente. It should take about 25 minutes total.
Add in parsley or basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.