Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Bleu Cheese Risotto

Autumn is here - hoorah, hoorah! Time for soups and roasts, baked goods and casseroles, root vegetables and squash. Time for nostalgia, walks in the woods, mulled cider, apple picking and donuts. Perhaps this poem by Bliss Carman (1861-1929) can express it better:

A Vagabond Song

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood -- 
Touch of manner, hint of mood; 
And my heart is like a rhyme, 

With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time. 

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry 
Of bugles going by. 
And my lonely spirit thrills 
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills. 

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir; 
We must rise and follow her, 
When from every hill of flame 
She calls and calls each vagabond by name. 

Yes, for two native New Englanders, autumn is a special time, "native to our blood," and this wonderfully creamy and flavorful risotto, made with butternut squash, rosemary and bleu cheese, seemed like the perfect way to celebrate its arrival. 

This particular recipe, one from Bon Appetit (February 2005) was just sitting in our Epicurious recipe box waiting to be discovered on this fine first full day of fall. And how perfect it is for Meatless Monday as well! Just taste it, and you will understand. 

Butternut Squash, Rosemary, and Bleu Cheese Risotto

5-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, diced (about 3 cups)
1/2 tablespoon butternut squash seed oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (divided)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese

Bring chicken broth to a low simmer over medium heat. In a large bowl, toss diced squash, butternut squash seed oil and olive oil. Spread squash over a cookie sheet and roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add squash and 1/2 amount of rosemary, and stir until coated with butter; cook another 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir 2-3 minutes. Add wine and simmer until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups warm broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until rice starts to become tender. Add remaining broth by 1/4 cupfuls, stirring often, until rice is to desired tenderness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in spinach and half and half, and again, season to taste. Remove from heat and stir in bleu cheese and remaining rosemary. Serve hot.


yummychunklet said...

Definitely an autumn dish. Yum!

chicago foodie girl said...

This sounds like a perfect dish for fall!

Carole said...

Hi Amy, just letting you know that you are in my Featured Food Blog sidebar for October on Carole's Chatter. Have a great week. Cheers

The Duo Dishes said...

Sweet poem. The fall is a favorite for many, including us! That butternut squash seed oil is genius! Adds a little more oomph to an already flavorful vegetarian dish.

jck said...

Another scrumptious lunch! Really great flavors in this risotto.. Thanks again.

Sonia Chauhan said...

I so enjoy your site and your recipes. Would you please consider adding a print option so we can enjoy your recipes a little more easily. Thank you.