Sunday turned out to be a "best" day. "Best" because Shug and I started the day with a cup of coffee with our friends from McCall, Idaho that had trekked to SLC for some sushi, a Schwinn, and haunted houses. After that we met up for brunch at Oasis Cafe with one of my bestests - 11, her lil' sis, and 11's most excellent BF. We had amazing food and even better conversation. I always forget how much I like my friends when I'm in school!
The day was lovely, so Shug and I took Punky Rubester on a walk and were famished when we got back home. I had a butternut squash lying around along with some white wine that needed drinking. This is the dinner we got out of it! We had the risotto with some fresh greens, steamed broccoli, and crusty french bread for dipping...
Butternut Squash Risotto
One 2 lb. butternut squash, cut in half and cleaned out
3 T extra virgin olive oil
one yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 cup arborio rice
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, warming in saucepan
1/2 white wine
1 t rubbed dry sage
1/2 t rubbed saffron threads
1/2 cup shredded parmesean or asiago cheese (we like the asiago!)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and plop the cleaned squash face down on a cookie sheet prepped with 1 T of the extra virgin olive oil. Let that bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or when the skin is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool a little.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the remainder of the olive oil. Add the diced onion and saute until translucent. Add the rubbed sage and saffron, cook for one minute and then add your rice. Saute until the grains become translucent, as well. Then start scooping your butternut squash out and into the pan. Mush it around so it's well incorporated.
Deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup white wine. Be sure to pour yourself a glass, too, because some serious stirring is about to go down. Add 1/2 cup of hot stock and stirstirstir until it's absorbed. Keep this up until all the stock is gonzo. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the shredded cheese. Stir some more!
Serve in bowls with another grinding of pepper, a squidge of olive oil, and some cheese sprinkled on top. Your should be finished with your glass of wine, so get a refill and enjoy!