Butternut squash is quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables and after finishing both seasons of A Chef and the Farmer, I was inspired to make a creamy, rich dish with a hearty vegetable. This recipe would be perfect for the fall or winter months as the temperature drops.
I buy the butternut squash already chopped at Trader Joe’s, which makes this dish even easier. The recipe calls for risotto or pearl barley, but I chose farro because it’s what I had and it’s a little healthier. The combination of the butter, the wine, and broth create a rich creamy texture.
It’s also a great side dish to serve at a dinner party since it is vegetarian as long as you use vegetable broth. I will warn you to be prepared to wait: the grain takes a full two hours to simmer and soak up the liquid.
I served this with salmon and asparagus, but this is filling enough to eat on its own. Feel free to swap out the butternut squash for another vegetable. Peas or asparagus would be amazing in this or add pancetta or cooked chicken to make this a complete meal.
I’ve also included a few of my recent foodie finds in Indy (below). All are great deals and hidden gems in the city.
Butternut Squash Risotto
Recipe via Real Simple
2 tablespoons butter
small yellow or white onion, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (use a wine that you would also drink)
6 cups vegetable broth (the large box carton = 4 cups and was the perfect amount)
1 cup pearl barley, risotto, or farro
1 butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan to top the risotto
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the broth and grain and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until almost tender, 24 to 26 minutes. Add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grain and squash are tender, 25 to 35 minutes
Serve with shaved Parmesan and enjoy!