Monday, November 21, 2011

Secret Recipe Club: Butternut Squash Risotto

I'm very excited to be apart of The Secret Recipe Club.  I saw it on another blog and it peaked my interest, so I checked it out.  Basically, you are assigned someone else's blog, and you cook/bake one of their recipes and blog about it on your own blog.  In turn, someone is choosing something off your blog too.  How fun!  So, the blog I was assigned Cookin' with Moxie.  Jamie has alot of great recipes, and she's italian so it was fun to browse and take in her knowledge.  I finally landed on the Butternut Squash Risotto with Spinach and Mushrooms, but I know I'll be back to try some other recipes too!

Now, I'm not a mushroom fan, I never really have been.  So, when I made this dish, I actually substituted roasted chicken for the mushrooms.  But, if you like mushrooms, be my guest to make the dish that way.
The only other change I made, was I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, because that's just what I had on hand.
Here is the original recipe:

2 – 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into half-inch pieces
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
16 oz white button mushrooms, sliced and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces  (I omitted)
5-6 cups vegetable broth (if you run out, substitute hot water)
5 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with 2 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. On the baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until their water nearly evaporates, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until tender, about 3 more minutes. Set aside.  (I skipped this step and already had cooked chicken)
Heat the vegetable (I used chicken) broth (it does not have to boil) in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft but not browned. 

Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. 

Add the rice and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until all the grains are slick and slightly opaque. Add the wine and simmer until almost completely absorbed.

Add two ladles full of broth to the risotto and bring to a simmer. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Keep the risotto at a steady simmer, stirring continuously until the broth has evaporated almost completely. Add one ladle full of broth, stir until it is nearly evaporated, then add another ladle full. Continue simmering and stirring, adding broth as necessary, for about 25-30 minutes or until the rice is creamy and cooked through, but still firm to the bite. When the risotto is on its last ladle full of broth, add the spinach (this will wilt down considerably). Stir until spinach is just wilted. Add the roasted squash and mushrooms (I skipped the mushrooms and added chicken). Add 3 1/2 tbsp of butter and Parmesan cheese; stir to combine. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 big-eaters as a main-course.
The thing with Risotto is patience.  You have to literally stand by it the whole time it is cooking, it needs a little attention.  And, it is well worth it!  This was a really yummy Risotto.  My whole family loved it!
Be sure to check out Jamie's Blog atCookin' with Moxie.  And if you love to cook and try recipes, you should visit The Secret Recipe Club.  Even if you aren't interested in doing it, there are tons and tons of awesome food blogs on this site!


  1. Thanks for making something from my blog! It looks great!

  2. Chellie, this looks so tasty! I am SO addicted to risottto and buttert squash right now that I will definitely be adding this to our menu. I'm glad I found you through the SRC, I'll be back!

  3. This looks divine and is the perfect way to use up the leftover butternut squash I have in the fridge! Thanks!

  4. I never get tired of risotto. Adding chicken makes it a complete meal!

  5. Looks amazing! Love risotto! Great SRC post.

  6. Your risotto looks heavenly. What a great dish!

  7. Such a lovely risotto. You chose a great recipe for the Secret Recipe club. Here is what I cooked up from group C: :)

  8. SRC is so much fun. It's an interesting way to try new recipes and I'm glad you joined. Risotto is a great dish. Creamy and warm and perfect for winter and fall months. We actually make a butternut squash risotto at our house, but no mushrooms or chicken. I bet adding the chicken would make it more of a main dish. I usually serve it as a side dish. I often serve mine recipe when I have vegetarian friends over. Really butternut squash is great in so many thing. I think I must have a ton of recipes for it in different way, I need to post more on my blog! If you want my version, here it is...