Smoked Gouda Wild Rice Risotto With Winter Squash
While pumpkin spice is nice in all things and is a clear indication that fall has arrived, sometimes you want something a little heartier. The cheesy creaminess of the whole-grain rice and the sweet, nuttiness of the nutrient-rich winter squash combine for an otherworldly comfort food dish! Move over pumpkin spice, there's a new fall favorite! You can serve this risotto stuffed inside an acorn squash to impress your family and/or friends at your next dinner party, or just grab bowl of risotto with butternut squash and curl up with a blanket in front of the TV (no judgement, I promise).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, thinly diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 cup wild rice blend, uncooked
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, freshly grated
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- winter squash, cooked
- In a medium saucepan, bring rice and 1 cup chicken stock to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook 25-30 minutes, or until all the chicken stock is absorbed.
- When the rice is almost done simmering, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in a 10-inch skillet until butter is melted. Cook onion and sage in oil mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is tender.
- Stir in rice. Cook for 1-2 minutes then stir in wine. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed.
- Reduce heat to medium. Stir in 1 cup warm chicken stock. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is creamy but not soupy.
- Stir in cheese and white pepper. Serve immediately with your favorite cooked winter squash (see below for notes on cooking the squash).
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Time it right!
If using acorn squash, put the squash in the oven before bringing the rice and chicken stock to a boil.
If using butternut squash, put the squash in the oven after you start simmering the rice.
For Acorn Squash:
What you need
- olive oil
- seasoning (I use poultry seasoning and turmeric)
- chicken stock (2 Tbs per squash)
- 3-4 acorn squash
What you do
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut both ends of the squash. Cut the top about 1/2 inch down to remove the stem and expose the seeds. Then cut the pointy end of the squash so that it can stand flat.
- Scoop out all the seeds (I find that a grapefruit spoon works great for this). If you didn't cut far enough down and the seed cavity isn't exposed, cut an x in the center and cut a hole. It should be more spongy in the middle and easy to pierce with a knife. If your hole is too small, carve out a little more of the flesh.
- Stand the squash upright on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the squash. Spread the oil around so that the flesh is covered evenly. Don't forget to put some oil on the cut end that is touching the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle seasoning over the top and in the cavity of the squash. Add 2 tablespoons of chicken stock to the cavity.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh.
- Let the squash cool for a few minutes. Fill the center of the squash with risotto and serve.
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For Butternut Squash:
What you need
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 2-3 butternut squash
What you do
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the butternut squash and cut it into about 1-inch cubes. Spread the squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Brown the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat (takes about 3 minutes). Add the fresh sage and rosemary, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the butter and herb mixture over the squash and stir until the squash is coated evenly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tender.
- Stir the butternut squash into the finished risotto and serve.