January 10, 2009

Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto

I love Butternut Squash. It has a slightly sweet flavor that just appeals to me.

I love risotto - any kind of risotto. The first time I had it was for my birthday dinner, prepared by my sister, Marcia. It was a mushroom risotto and it was so good!

When I saw Giada's recipe for Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto, I knew I had a winner.

If you have a butternut sitting on your counter (and who doesn't?) and don't know what to do with it, well... here's your answer. Warm 4 cups of vegetable broth (I used chicken broth -- so sue me). Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add all of that goodness to the broth.
Cut your butternut into one-inch pieces (measure carefully now!) and put it in the broth to gently simmer until quite soft - but not mushy!When the squash is cooked, remove it from the broth with a slotted spoon. Save the broth, but discard the vanilla bean after you take a picture of it because vanilla beans are oh-so-beautiful.
You know the drill here... butter, onions, rice, white wine, broth. Rinse and repeat. When the risotto is creamy and al dente, gently fold in the cooked squash and parmesean.
I butterflied two boneless skinless chicken breasts, put some olive oil on them, sprinkled them with the Pampered Chef Jamacian Jerk Rub and baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.I added about 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg. It was a good move. I think some golden raisins would be good in this dish, too.

The risotto was absolutely delicious... so delicately sweet that if I hadn't cut that butternut into 1" pieces myself, I would have thought I was eating apricots instead of squash.

This would be a great side dish for a roasted pork loin. I'll be sure to make this recipe again!


  1. Man that looks good. I love risotto and have been trying to eat more things like squash. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  2. This looks great, the addition of vanila bean sounds fabulous.

  3. What a fabulous combination of flavors Karen! Bet it smells heavenly.

    Thank you for the inspiration. xo~m.

  4. Now see I am not much a fan of squash in its natural state but this looks fantastic because risotto is heaven on earth and the sweetness would totally balance the spicy chicken. I am drooling all over my keyboard lol. Yum!

  5. This sounds and looks really good!

  6. I just love risotto, your addition of vanilla bean sounds just marvelous!

  7. This looks terrific! I am totally intrigued by the vanilla in the risotto.

  8. I keep seeing butternut squash risotto. I have some cut up square in the freezer. I'm thinking it's time to use it up.


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