Risotto: An Experiment

Like many others, I have always feared making a risotto.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the thought of all the ways such a delicate dish could go wrong kept me at bay.  Until today.

Several friends have been making risotto lately, and they gave me courage (Thanks Krista, Jen and Sonja!).  I had two acorn squash hidden in the back of the fridge needing to be put to good use.  After some online recipe hunting, I came across this Faux Martha post.  I edited to my liking and available ingredients.


Acorn Squash Risotto with Leeks, Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese
1/2 c. acorn squash, roasted
2 tbsp. salted butter
1 c. leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 c. jasmine rice
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. marjoram
dash of cloves – I threw in one whole clove, then removed at the end.
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
3 c. veggie stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. gruyere cheese, grated
3 tbsp. heavy cream – I used whole milk

Roast acorn squash. Place in a 350° oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you are able to cut squash in half. Place the two halves on a baking sheet, skin side down sprinkled with a bit of olive oil. Bake for another 20 minutes or until squash is soft. Allow to cool. Remove squash from outer peel. Mash and set aside. (This can be done up to a week in advance.)  I roasted two squash, to use the second set as serving dishes.

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat. Saute leeks, mushrooms and garlic until leeks are translucent.
  2. Add rice to pan, coating with butter mixture. Add acorn squash and spices. Stir.
  3. Cook over medium heat, adding one cup of chicken stock at a time until liquid is absorbed. Stir often. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Before serving, remove bay leaf (and whole clove!) and stir in cheese and cream/milk. Garnish a sprinkle of extra gruyere.

If you prepared extra acorn squash, serve the risotto in the shell of the extra squash (flesh still intact so it maintains its form – there’s nothing wrong with a little extra squash!).
acorn squash risotto

SUPER pleased with the results!  Incredible flavor, each ingredient both stands out and blends into the whole in beautiful ways.  Will definitely be attempting more risottos in the future.
You’re invited :)