Hello butternut squash risotto! Oh, how I love you so!
Risotto is PROBABLY one of the best comfort foods ever invented. If not THE best. If you’ve never had it before (or made it yourself!), I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s YUM-MY. Savory, creamy. Hungry yet?
Risotto is a dish I never thought I’d be able to make at home. I really thought it was only meant to be found in fancy restaurants.
But guys, it’s really easy to do! It just takes a tiny bit of patience, and actually, it’s nice to just let your mind wander while you’re stirring it at the stove. This is a lazy-relaxing-Sunday type of dish. Best made when it’s chilly or rainy out or somewhere in between. OR, whenever. Nobody’s judging here.
However, in Seattle, it’s cold and winter-y and rainy here this time of year. And really, this dish helps me cope with that. It’s warm and yummy in ma belly. I will (do/did) take a nap after I eat this. You should, too! Naps are good.
My risotto-cooking setup:
- Place a medium sauce pot on one oven burner. Fill it with 4 cups broth/stock and set it on low heat.
- Put a ladle – or heat-proof 1 cup measuring spoon – on a spoon rest next to the pot.
- Place a large heavy-bottomed pot on another oven burner. Set it to medium and start melting 1 tbsp butter.
- Keep a wooden mixing spoon nearby, also on the spoon rest or cutting board.
- Off the stove top but nearby, place a book or other reading material. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little multi-tasking!)
- For a truly yummy risotto, be patient and taste as you go so you get the perfect soft-but-still-slightly-chewy texture!
More risotto-cooking tips & why I’m a fan:
- Pick a high-quality broth. Because, flavor.
- Pick a low-sodium broth. Because then you can control the salt levels to your own preference.
- It’s cheap. If you’re cooking on a budget, it’s really inexpensive but still seems fancy!
- It’s versatile. It’s a blank canvas. Go nuts!
Butternut squash love:
I paired this simple risotto with some roasted butternut squash (because I <3 it!) but really you can mix in whatever you like most. Sauteed mushrooms and peas? Yes. Tomatoes, basil, fresh grated Parmesan cheese? Yes. These are just some ideas, guys, the list could go on and on.
You’ve gotta have sauce:
BUT, the best part about this rich and delicious dish has to be the bright and cheery (can a sauce be cheery?) fresh Lemon Herb Sauce that I quickly zipped up in my mini food processor. It really brightens up the mood on this whole dish, and makes it truly special. One-of-a-kind.
Plus, it’s beautiful. And simple. It’s almost pesto but even simpler than that. It’s just got garlic, herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil.
I got the idea for this sauce from a restaurant nearby. They had house-made pesto and bread on the table when we were seated. It was the greenest, smoothest, garlicky-est, most lovely pesto I’ve ever had. That color though.
Get creative with your lemon herb sauce guys! You can use pretty much any leafy fresh herb you have on hand. And lemon zest. ALWAYS zest your lemons, because it’s like free flavor you can add to any dish.
Before you slice that lemon.. ZEST IT!!!
Okay, I’m done. Go ahead and make this risotto dish. Or make your own creation inspired by this one.
Happy cooking and happy eating!