Friday, November 14, 2008

Giada's Butternut Squash & Vanilla Risotto

***I was recently watching an episode of Everyday Italian, and Giada whipped up this dish. I LOVE butternut squash and this recipe just sounded divine....especially with the addition of vanilla, which is another one of my favorites. I made this as a side dish for tonight's dinner. I loved it! The vanilla adds such a nice, warm flavor, and the onion really balances it all out.
Vanilla is one of those things that you don't necessarily think to add to savory dishes, but it definitely works here. I didn't have any vanilla beans on-hand, so I just used a splash of pure vanilla extract instead. This dish is all about would make a nice addition to any holiday meal!***

4 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
1 large vanilla bean (I used a splash of pure vanilla extract)
3 cups peeled cubed (1-inch wide) butternut squash, about 12 ounces
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
3/4 cups finely chopped onion (from 1 onion)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

In a medium saucepan, warm the broth over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add them, and the bean, to the broth. When the broth comes to a simmer reduce the heat to low. Add the butternut squash to the simmering broth and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the butternut squash to a side dish. Turn the heat on the broth down to very low and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to of the broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.

Discard the vanilla bean. Turn off the heat. Gently stir in the butternut squash, Parmesan, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and salt. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis @


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Celeste! STOP IT!! You HAVE to stop making these amazing recipes b/c I'll never be able to make them all. Haha. THis sounds so great. I LOVE butternut and with vanill!?!?! YUM!! Now...where's my fork??

Beave said...

This will make the perfect side for dinner tonight! I'm roasting a turkey breast so this will be great!

Maria said...

I will try this one! I saw that episode too and thought it looked good. Thanks for trying it out first:)

Kevin said...

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while. It sounds really interesting to use vanilla in a savoury dish. It looks great!