Simple Butternut Squash Risotto

So often I have heard people say that it is too expensive to eat healthy, but that simply isn’t true if you shop smart. The first step to shopping smart is to pick up low cost seasonal fruits and vegetables. Before you even plan your menu, go looking for what is in season and low cost. Fall time is squash time for our house! Fall is that magical time of year that you can pick up the fresh seasonal tastes right from the local sources for a good price. A while back I picked up a couple of beautiful butternuts from a local farm stand for the delightful price of $1.00 each! The nice thing about butternuts is that they will keep for many weeks in a cool dry place!

Butternut squash is also so versatile, due to its sweet mild flavor, so I decided to do a search and see how my favorite Paleo sites were preparing it. I ran into a couple of different versions of rice and risottos and thought, why not? I didn’t quite like the recipes that I found, so decided to make my own, but have to give this site props for leading me in the right direction:

Before making your Risotto, you have to cut and peel the squash. Begin by cutting off each end with a big sharp knife, then cut the squash in half. Cute the half down the middle and half again to make quarters. Scoop and seeds out and peel the outer skin with sharp pairing knife or vegetable peeler. Slice the quarters into cubes or slices, either one. (If my directions aren’t doing it for you there are a bunch of YouTube videos on how to cut and peel the squash.)

Toss the cubes into your food processor (we have the Ninja) and pulse 6-7 times until the squash resembles rice.

Here is the recipe:

1 medium to large butternuts, or 2 small (riced)
1 large white onion (diced)
1-2 tsp salt
1 TB fresh or dried parsley
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of chicken or veggie broth
1 TB of coconut oil (or your choice of fat)
1 TB extra virgin olive oil

Place the oils in a skillet and turn on medium heat, than add the onions and salt. Cook the mixture just until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add the parsley, and butternut squash. Cook the mixture for about 3-4 minutes turning every minute or so (I use a flat wooden spatula). Next, add the white wine and chicken stock.

Continue cooking the mixture on medium heat letting the liquid reduce. Risotto should be on the dry side, but don’t let the mixture stick to your pan. If you are unable to see any liquid left in the pan add some more broth until it is slightly runny, but not too much. The cooking time will vary, but it is going to be about 20-30 minutes. You are going to want to watch your risotto and keep turning it every few minutes to check the level of liquid. This is also a good time to taste for flavor, add more salt or parsley if needed. butternut squash risotto

The risotto is done when the rice starts to soften and the liquid is almost totally absorbed. We like it slightly al dente, but just make sure it doesn’t turn to mush on you! Once it is done you should eat it as soon as possible.

I paired the risotto with some fresh cooked chard with bacon and some slices of farm fresh ham steak. Delicious!

Plating it up.

Plating it up.