Regardless of the pending snow storm that is apparently leaving 12 inches of snow in its Minneapolis path over the next 12 hours, spring is near.
The days are getting longer. The temperatures are slowing rising. The birds are beginning to chirp in the trees.
Halleluiah. I am not sure how much more of this winter I can handle.
One thing, however, that I do love about winter is comfort food. Tasty, satisfying, home-cooked deliciousness. Yes, comfort food season is soon nearing its end as well.
Before you put away your winter coats, your Uggs, your cute hats and mittens and start doing your “Praise the Lord, Spring is here!” dances, I have one last comfort food for you to make!
It’s rich. It’s creamy. It’s cheesy. It is the perfect recipe to make to wish winter goodbye.
It’s my Creamy Butternut Risotto.
It includes two of my all-time favorite ingredients. Butter and Parmesan cheese. Yes, I love butter and I love cheese. I also do not have to wear a bikini in the winter so I have absolutely no problem with this love affair ;)
This is one of the easiest risotto recipes you will ever find. Plus, it is fool-proof. Easy risotto is what I like.
Bite-sized chunks of carrots and butternut squash sautéed in butter that are stirred and stirred AND stirred with Arborio rice create the creamiest, most delectable risotto you will ever taste.
This is a perfect dish for a girls’ night – one of you can stir while the other keeps the wine glasses full. OR you can have a husband like mine, who is drawn to the smell of butter and offers to keep your wine glass topped off as long as you keep stirring the risotto ;)
Creamy Butternut Risotto (Adapted from The Produce Bible – Williams-Sonoma)
Makes 8 Servings
- 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 cups butternut squash, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Parmesan cheese, for topping – optional
In a large sauce pan, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat. Keep at a simmer while cooking risotto. Meanwhile, heat 4 TBSP butter in a large, non-stick skillet (a large Le Creuset works well) over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook for 3 minutes, until onions are soft and then add in squash and carrots. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until soft and slightly mash with a fork. Add in rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in 1 cup of broth and stir well. Continue to add in the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each broth addition until all broth is absorbed for a total time of approximately 30-35 minutes. You may need to add in additional water if your rice is not soft and creamy once all of your broth has been added.
Remove from heat and add in remaining butter, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes prior to serving. Top with extra Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
The key to this dish is to stir – You’ll be doing double-duty with this recipe, dinner and an arm workout!
Okay winter, I’ve made my last comfort food of the season. You can now go away, forever.
Have you made risotto before? What are your favorite additions to risotto?