Butternut squash and Chanterelles Risotto
In just thirty minutes, you will have this veggie, autumnly risotto, on your dinner table. With a delicious vegetable stock that smells through the kitchen and seven ingredients, including nutritious butternut squash and soft melt-in-your-mouth, peppery chanterelles, you will add this risotto to your risotto-repertoire before you know it. I know I did.
As a single guy, the corona lockdown was a bit lonely sometimes. I did call my friends often and, of course, had long chats with my family, but I mean the other kind of lonely. What do you do, besides watching every show on Netflix and starting making plans for morning runs (just plans); download dating apps and start swiping.
And I will be honest, it was a great way to kill time. So I met this girl on Bumble and started chatting. We both seem to have a good time. One thing led to the other and… No, we didn’t go on a date. I did ask her about her favorite risotto.
When I meet new people, I always like to know their favorite risotto recipe (usually mushroom) to be inspired to try a new one. And try to make a better one. She told me she recently made a risotto with butternut squash and sage leaves. And although it is a well-known risotto recipe, I had to admit I never tried it.
Even better, I never use butternut squash or pumpkin in the kitchen. It’s easy to get my hands on, but I never tried working with it. Which is a pity because there are so, so many things you could do with it.
She made the dish by cutting the butternut squash into tiny pieces and putting them in the oven with the sage leaves. Then she made the risotto, and when it’s almost done, she would add the butternut squash and sage and stir it. Now my mission would be to come up with the same risotto, but even better so I could impress her the first time I would cook for her.
Did some research on Google. There were a million ways I could do it, but I decided my first try would be a simple one. The way the Italians like to cook. Good, but simple. I would cut them in little squares and cook them with the shallots and carnaroli. But I would leave the sage out—a bit scanty. Instead, I added mushrooms. Chantarelle, to be precise, because of their earthy flavor.
And it worked well!
I couldn’t wait to send her the picture with a text like: “Something is waiting to be tried out, someday…” But, uhmmm, yeah. That never happened. She ghosted me. Well, At least you guys can try this creamy, easy risotto recipe. Enjoy!
We are using it for the soffritto; sautéing a base of aromatic ingredients, like a shallot. And the tostatura; toasting the rice and covering it with oil. So no need to use expensive, refined olive oil. A simple one will do. If you don’t have the oil, you can use butter.
Delicate shallots. I love how the shallot “disappears” in risotto but still leaves this mild, sweet layer of a midpoint between mellow garlic and onion. And hey, they’re high in anti antioxidants.
This, this creamy carrot, this sweet potato-like, fruity ingredient (yes, technically it’s a fruit) fits so well in this season. It’s a typical autumn ingredient. I love how it’s earthy flavor gets well absorbed by risotto.
Another ingredient that feels right home in autumn. When cooked very chewy. It makes butternut squash taste even better, just like butternut squash make chanterelles taste better. They both have this earthy, woody flavor. Although Butternut squash is the fruit, chanterelles have their own hinge of sweet taste, almost like ripe apricots.
Butter and Parmesan
I always use a bit of butter to deglaze mushrooms. But a lot of creaminess of the risotto comes from the mantecura; adding butter and/or cheese to the risotto and give it a last stir.
A nice dry white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, will do. But it’s additional.
A wide, heavy-bottomed sauté pan. Wide, so the broth or stock can evaporate more quickly. And the rice will cook more evenly.
Filled with stock or broth to add to the rice
A large skillet
To fry the Chanterelles. If the skillet or pan is too small, you’ll probably boil the mushrooms because of the releasing moisture. We don’t want that. So it’s essential to give them enough space so the moisture will evaporate faster.
Cutting board and Kitchen knife
Butternut squash and Chanterelles Risotto
- 1 Teaspoon Olive oil
- 1 shallot Finely chopped
- 1½ Cups or 200 Grams Butternut squash Small cubes
- 4 Cups or 200 Grams Chanterelles Cleaned
- ¼ Cup or 50 Milliliter Dry white wine
- 2 Tablespoons or 30 Grams Butter flakes
- 4 tablespoons or 20 Grams Parmesan cheese Grated
- ¾ Cup or 160 Grams Carnaroli (or Arborio) rice
- 6 Cups or 1½ Liter Vegetable (or chicken) stock
- Heat the stock until simmering.
- Meanwhile, n a sauté pan on low/medium heat, add olive oil and sweat the shallot with a pinch of salt (3 min). Turn to medium heat, then stir in the rice, and toast it (1 min).
- Stir in the butternut squash cubes and add wine. Let it evaporate.
- When all the wine is absorbed, add a big ladle of stock. Stir. And when it's all absorbed again, add a new ladle. Keep repeating this until the rice is al dente (15-19 min).
- Meanwhile, put a large skillet on medium/high heat. Add chanterelles dry and cook them until they shrink in size (5 min). Then, add butter and lower the heat to medium and cook till done (5 min.)
- When the rice is done, put the heat off, stir in parmesan cheese and butter. Cover it, and let it rest for a minute or two.
- Give the risotto one last stir. Spoon into plates and add the chanterelles.