Not getting enough butternut in your risotto? Has this ever happened to you? (Warning: video contains choice words from British chef)
This basic butternut squash risotto recipe comes from a less disgruntled (gruntled?) British chef whose cooking style I really admire. The dish may be simple, but the garnish makes it a bit more interesting.
In addition to the chopped sage cooked slowly with the rice, whole sage leaves are quickly pan-fried and used as a seemingly out-of-place topping. Resist the urge to push the browned herbs to the side of the plate in favor of the bright orange morsels. The crispy sage leaves crumble and release a mellow smokiness that nicely complements the sweet butternut squash and creamy rice.
recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Cookbook
Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Diary of a Fanatic Foodie
Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage
makes 4 servings
Arborio rice and sage.
For the Butternut Squash Risotto:
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade and lightly seasoned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
a dozen fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice, unwashed
8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Crispy Sage:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
a dozen fresh sage leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
- The cooking time will vary depending on the cooking vessel and type of rice you use.
- If short on stock and the rice is still not done to your liking, feel free to use boiling water instead of additional stock.
- Heat the stock and keep at a gentle simmer over low heat.
- In a separate heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook while stirring until the onions are translucent. Add the chopped sage leaves and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to keep the onions from browning.
- Add the rice and stir until the grains are well-coated with the olive oil and the outer layers of the grain are slightly translucent.
- Pour enough stock to barely cover the rice, about 1/2 cup. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon, wiping the sides and bottom of the pot clean while doing so, until the stock is fully absorbed.
- Add the diced butternut squash along with another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue adding the stock in 1/2-cup increments and stirring as described above, until the butternut squash is soft and the rice is done to the desired level of doneness.
When the risotto is almost done, heat the vegetable oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Fry the sage leaves quickly, about a few seconds, until dark brown and crispy.
Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve immediately in wide platters and top with the crispy sage leaves, with cheese and a grater on the side.
Pan-fried crispy sage leaves.