The purists will twist their noses at this one… I gave it a try because it came from Everyday Food, a publication I am very fond of. With Martha Stewart backing it up, it could not be a complete and utter failure. 😉 Obviously, you can adapt it for a “regular type” risotto, just continue cooking on the stove top – stirring gently – until done. However, it was nice to be able to stick the dish in the oven and forget about it for half an hour, then enjoy a risotto with almost the exact qualities of the traditional kind.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH BAKED RISOTTO
(adapted from Everyday Food, November 2010)
1 T olive oil
1/2 T butter
1 shallot, very finely diced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup Arborio rice
salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 + 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
1 + 3/4 cup vegetable broth
spinach and baby arugula leaves (2 cups total)
grated parmiggiano reggiano
Heat the oven to 400F. Saute the shallots in olive oil and butter until translucent, add the fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes. Add the wine, cook until almost absorbed, a couple of minutes more. Add the vegetable stock, and the butternut squash pieces, season again with salt and pepper, bring the mixture to a full boil.
Transfer to an oven-proof container (preferably with a lid), stir the spinach and arugula leaves. Cover with the lid (or with aluminum foil), and bake until the rice is cooked but there’s still some liquid in the dish. Add fresh parmiggiano reggiano before serving, and a little more black pepper, if you are so inclined.
(Makes 4 substantial servings)
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: My only issue with the recipe was the oven cooking time, which, according to the magazine would be around 20 minutes. That was definitely not enough to cook the rice and absorb enough liquid. In our oven it took slightly over 30 minutes. You might want to play around with the amount of stock added, but keep in mind that risotto should not be rushed, better not make it if you have rigid time constraints.
I don’t think I would serve oven-baked risotto for guests, because the traditional method delivers a creamier texture. But, for the two of us, it was perfectly fine. Leftovers were enjoyed the following day, warmed in the microwave. Still very tasty, even with the significant loss of moisture.
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