Try this warming fall recipe
As the weather is finally starting to change, it’s the perfect time to invite someone over and impress them with some cooking skills. And if that’s not possible, maybe it’s time to have a date with yourself and cook up something you can be proud of.
Utilize the current abundance of orange things growing out of the ground, go ahead and pick up the star of this dish, a butternut squash. Risotto might be quite a bit of work, but upon tasting that first bite of it, you’ll know that it was all worth it.
- Butternut Squash (preferably locally grown)
- 1 medium to large onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Butter (optional)
- Olive oil
- 1 ¼ cup arborio rice
- Stock or bouillon (Animal or veggie-based will work)
- Parmesan cheese
- White wine
- Frozen peas (optional)
To start, preheat your oven to 325˚F. Peel your butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, and cut into chunks. Transfer to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Feel free to add any extra seasonings of your liking. Throw it in your preheated oven. Give them a check and a toss every 10 minutes or so to make sure nothing is burning. Take the butternut squash out of the oven once it is soft, which will usually take around 30–40 minutes.
At this point, crack open the white wine and pour yourself and anyone you’re cooking for a glass. You’ll really only need a dash of it for later.
Place a pot of stock on your stove, heating it up to a light simmer. This is important as to not slow down the cooking process of the rice.
Peel and finely dice your onion. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate any knife skills you’ve picked up from watching TikToks.
Transfer the onion to a large pot on the stove on medium-high heat with a very healthy amount of olive oil and/or butter. Make sure not to skimp on the fat if you want this to have restaurant-quality flavour.
While the onions are sautéing, finely mince two to three cloves of garlic. Once the onions are turning translucent, add the garlic and continue sautéing. Take a second to appreciate the aroma of frying onions and garlic, this will make anyone think that you know exactly what you’re doing.
Add one and a quarter cups of arborio rice to the pot. Stir vigorously for a few minutes to give the rice a head start on cooking. Make sure you’re using a cooking utensil rigid enough to scrape the grains of rice off the bottom of the pot.
Once the rice is toasted, deglaze the pot with a splash of white wine. Add a few ladles of your warm stock to the pot and continue stirring.
Continue to add stock as the rice cooks, making sure to never let the pot dry out. The process will require about 30 minutes of constant stirring.
Once the kitchen gets warm enough, take off your sweater and show off the pump you’ve gotten from scraping the bottom of a pot repeatedly.
Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is at your desired level of doneness. Keep in mind that it will thicken up as it cools.
Fold the squash, extra butter, and parmesan into the risotto. Add in frozen peas if you want colour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate it up, pour another glass of wine, and watch as your date falls in love with you…r cooking.