Friday, March 30, 2012

Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks and Basil

This is the perfect dish for fall! I think that butternut squash screams fall and it is wonderful in this risotto! Risotto does take a little bit of time to make, but I think that it is definitely worth it! This can be served as a side dish or you can add a salad for a light dinner. Enjoy!

Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks and Basil

3 tbs olive oil, divided
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 2 1/4 lb. squash)
3 cups 1/2-inch wide slices leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
2 cups arborio rice
4 14-oz cans (or more) vegetable broth
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Heat 2 tbs oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash and saute until beginning to soften and brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer squash to medium bowl.

Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 1 tbs oil, leeks, and thyme to same pot and stir until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes. Add remaining broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Return squash to pot. Continue to cook until rice is just tender but still very creamy, stirring gently and often, about 10 minutes longer (it seemed to take a bit longer when I made it, about 35-40 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat. Stir in basil and 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

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