Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Truffle Oil

 This is one of my all-time favorite risottos. The richness of butternut squash, which just happens to be the most nutritious of  all squash is foiled with the delightful edge of the truffle oil, making it is amazingly delicious.

Yield: 6 servings

Temperature: 450F

Time: 1 1/4 hours

3 to 3 ½ pound butternut squash

1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, divded

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 cups chicken broth

7 1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (9 oz)

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano or mixed cheeses

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

2 cups arugula or baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Few drops Truffle oil

1. To roast squash--preheat oven to 450°F. Cut squash in two, just at the point where the seed cavity starts or it starts to become bulbous. Cut each half in half, then remove seeds and cut into ¾ inch wide slices. Toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Place slices, skin side down, in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until tender and golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Start risotto after squash is in the oven. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer, covered. In a 5 quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onion and cook until clear, add the rice, garlic and ½ teaspoon cumin—cooking and stirring just to coat.

3. Then add the hot broth ½ cup at a time. After the first ½ cup, stirring constantly, add the second ½ cup when the liquid has been absorbed. Continue stirring and adding broth until rice is creamy looking, but still firm—about 20 minutes total cooking time. You may have some broth remaining.  Stir in the arugula or baby spinach.






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