I know it’s spring (or at least the calender here says so), and butternut squash is autumn in all it’s glory, but I still have some laying around. I purchased several back when it was on sale for a ridiculously low price, and have successfully stored it in my basement/garage. But I need to get it used up, because my mind is turning to asparagus and fresh peas!
I’ve made lots of risottos, and to tell the truth they are not difficult, they just need watching and tending to. The creamy, comfort food, appeal is well worth the babying they require. Even though I do not mind making them the old-fashioned way, this time I decided to try the version in The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. I love this cookbook, but I really didn’t care that much for the risotto. Don’t get me wrong it was good, better than not having any risotto at all, and perfectly acceptable if it is your only option, but I don’t think it is as good as regularly made risotto. It was a little too gummy. After the initial sauteing is completed, they give you the option of resetting the machine for the Porridge cycle, or changing to the regular cycle, but setting a timer for just 20 minutes. I chose to reset for the porridge cycle, but I think it really only needed 20 minutes on the regular. So, if I do try this again, that’s how I’m going to do it.
Butternut Squash Risotto
adapted from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice
2 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash (about 1/2 inch dice)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Set the cooker for the regular cycle. Place the olive oil and butter in the bowl, and when the butter melts, add the onion. Cook until softened about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon or the plastic rice paddle until all the grains are coated. Cook, stirring a few times, until the rice starts to become translucent, with a small white spot left in the center. Add the squash, water and stock and stir. Close the cover and reset for the porridge cycle, or for the regular cycle and set a timer for 20 minutes.
When the machine switches to the Keep Warm Cycle, stir. Before serving, add the butter and let it melt. Stir in the lime juice, parsley, cheese and salt to taste.