conquering risotto

I would like to consider myself pretty fearless when it comes to cooking, but for some reason risotto has always seemed a bit intimidating. 
Until now, that is. 

Friends, meet my risotto...

My delicious mushroom and leek risotto with roasted butternut squash. 
I was THRILLED with the way it came out. 

mmb thought it was absolutely delicious. His was served with slices of thyme rubbed pork on top- no thanks for me, but he found it to be the perfect complement. 

Would you like to try? I have to give credit to Rachel over at Heart of Light for this recipe, but here is my version...mostly the same, but with just a few tweaks. 


2-3 tablespoons of butter
1 shallot, diced
  3 large leeks, sliced and washed
20 oz. sliced baby bella (portabello)mushrooms,
1 cup arborio rice
4 - 5 cups hot liquid (I used chicken broth)
Small handful of sage leaves, diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful of shredded Parmesan

1 large butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and coarse pepper

Before you begin risotto, heat oven to 475 degrees, slice squash in half (you could also use pre-cut), scoop out seeds and drizzle with olive oil. sprinkle salt and pepper on top and roast in oven until soft (usually about 35-40 minutes) 

Now onto the "good stuff"...

1. Saute shallots and leeks in the butter over medium heat until soft 
2. Add mushrooms and cook until soft
3. Add rice and toss to coat with leek, shallot and mushroom mixture
4. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot broth (or water if you choose to use that) and stir
5. Add 3/4 cup of the hot liquid
6. Add sage and thyme
7. Once all the liquid is absorbed, adding another cup- continue this process until the risotto is nice and soft, but not mushy 
8. When risotto is the texture you prefer add the Parmesan cheese 
9. Add cubed roasted squash (I prefer mine on top instead of mixed in)

Things to remember when making risotto: 
*it needs to be stirred often and watched carefully 
*you may not have to use all 5 cups of liquid, use your best judgement
*it is an art, take your time and savor the is well worth it

I can't wait to try more flavors! I am thinking of something with cranberries, pecans and rosemary... yum!

So what do you think, will you try this recipe? Or if you have already made risotto before, which flavors have you made?


Chey can cook! (and more) said...

Yum! I'll take a bowl! Looks like it's being served at a restaurant!! I will definitely be trying it, as I've been scared too!

I think the cran/pecan combination sounds great! I would try pear, walnuts, and some kind of cheese I think!

melissa said...

ooh good thinking! I bet gorgonzola would be a great cheese for the pears and walnuts.

BakingWithoutaBox said...

Oh wow! That has always scared me too. You just have too many people messing it up in restaurants, etc. But that's beautiful. I love what you added.

humel said...

I regularly make a bacon, leek and thyme risotto - it has mushrooms in it too - and the best part is that you cook it in the oven, so after the initial cooking of the ingredients you don't need to stir! :-)

Rachel B said...

Ooh yummy, I love risotto - it looks great :)

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