Saturday, November 27, 2010
Meatless Month: Day 16
This was butternut squash risotto. It was time-consuming and the process had many steps. And I was in a hurry to get to Bingo with a friend. Yes, Bingo. I am always one of the youngest people there, but it's fun, and there's a chance to win lots of money.
Back to the risotto. The first thing I did was hack up a butternut squash - dang, are those suckers hard! - then seasoned the cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet, and put them in the oven to roast for a while.
While the squash was roasting, I decided to caramelize some onions. Mr. Hungry is a tough-sell on butternut squash, but loves onions, so I thought by combining something he loves - caramelized onions - with something he's not certain about - butternut squash - I'd be more likely to have a happy eater. Caramelizing onions always takes way longer than any recipe ever says they will (and I wasn't working from a recipe this time), but here they are in all their sugary glory:
Aren't they lovely?
Risotto really isn't difficult to make, but it is a process. I heated up some vegetable broth in a saucepan and in a separate pan sauteed some garlic, the arborio rice, and then deglazed with some white wine. At that point, the risotto process was ready to begin. Ladles of broth mix with the rice, stir and stir until the liquid is absorbed, and repeat for about twenty minutes.
When my rice was tender and had absorbed most of the broth, I added the cooked squash cubes and a generous grating of Romano cheese, some dry sage, and a bit more salt and pepper, too. I dished it up onto plates and topped it all with some caramelized onions.
Please excuse the terrible quality of this photo. Even with the awful lighting here, you can see it looks like risotto should. But it was lacking...something. I couldn't quite figure out what it was. Maybe I should have pureed the squash? Added browned butter? I'm not sure, but this was a really mediocre meal that wasn't worth all the work it took. To end on a positive note, Mr. Hungry actually sort of liked the squash. Small victories are all I can ask for.