Baked Risotto with Winter Squash

This is an easy risotto to make on a busy evening – you bake it in the oven! Serve with a salad for instant comfort food.

1 lb. winter squash, peeled and cut into about 3/4 inch dice
2 cups Arborio rice
4 tbls. butter
3 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
about 6 leaves fresh sage, chopped finely
white pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan
1/4 c. almonds or hazelnuts squash risotto

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add rice and saute until it begins to turn a little brown.
  2. In another pan, heat stock with bay leaf.
  3. Add rice to a 2 quart casserole. Stir in squash, salt, pepper, and sage.
  4. Stir in warmed broth.
  5. Cover dish with lid or tightly fitting foil. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove lid. Sprinkle with Parmesan and nuts. Bake for 10 more minutes until nuts are toasted.
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Risotto Cakes, Featuring Green Garlic

What is green garlic?I want to be completely honest. This is a very fussy recipe. You won’t find yourself spontaneously making this some Wednesday night after work. However, it is a great dish to make for guests. All of the preparation can be easily done the day before you want to serve it. In fact, it’s actually better the day after you make it! These risotto cakes would make a fancy vegetarian main dish or work well as a refreshing side.

Green garlic is different from a garlic scape (though scapes would probably work very well for this recipe, too.) Green garlic is what you get when you prematurely pull up a garlic plant. It’s delicious and pungent and you’re lucky if you can pick up some at the farmers’ market.

For risotto-
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper
3 cups chicken broth or stock (or substitute veggie)
1/2 c. white wine (Try the ferryboat white.)

To finish-
small bunch of green garlic (about 6 stalks), chopped coarsely
1/3 c. Parmesan, grated
olive oil

  1. Get out two pans: one to warm your stock in, the other in which to create your risotto. Begin to warm your stock on low. Find your ladle.
  2. Heat 1 tbls. of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add garlic and arborio rice and continue to cook for about two minutes. (The traditional way to know if your arborio rice has been sauteed enough is to look for a translucent edge and a white dot on the grain of rice.)
  3. Splash in your wine and stir. Scrape up the brown bits with your spoon.When the wine is absorbed, ladle in one cup of stock, and reduce heat to low.
  4. Keep simmering and adding stock, one cup at a time. Your total simmer time comes to about 25 minutes. Taste your rice for seasoning and to see if it is done. (If it is not tender, add a little more liquid, continue to simmer on low, and stiStir in the green garlic and cheese off heat.r.)
  5. Off heat, stir in your Parmesan and green garlic. Spray a baking dish or cookie sheet with olive oil and spread the rice mixture out to cool. Continue reading “Risotto Cakes, Featuring Green Garlic”