Saturday, February 5, 2011

Things to Do with Butternut Squash

Who doesn't love a good butternut squash? Unfortunately, my husband would be one of those people. He actually doesn't like squash in general, and I am always looking for good ways to sneak it into his diet. (Not only because it's good for him but also because I love it!) I recently found two recipes that have provided an excellent way to disguise butternut squash in a way that my husband doesn't even realize he's eating it. Whether you're a squash lover or not, I think you will enjoy both of these recipes.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Red (cayenne) pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups water
1 pound tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive or vegetable oil. Add onion and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic, curry powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add squash, vegetable or chicken broth, water, and apples. Bring liquid just to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from heat and let cool 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree mixture in a blender or food processor, in batches, and transfer back into soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash Risotto

6-8 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
2 cups arborio rice (can substitute medium grained white rice, but arborio is preferred)
1 cup dry white wine (I used white wine vinegar)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives or garlic chives

Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.

During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan. (Serves 4 to 6.)

1 comment:

  1. Kristen - I made the butternut squash risotto and was in heaven! The squash was so delicious in my mouth. Yum. I added saffron which was such a yummy taste as well. Thanks for posting this!