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Healthy Recipe: Squash Risotto

by Organic Spa Magazine


The velvety texture of The Inn at Little Washington’s risotto is heightened by the addition of a seasonal squash puree. Toasted pecans enhance the natural elements of fall. The Inn serves the risotto in a striking roasted pumpkin hollowed “bowl.”



Risotto Base

3 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 pound Carnaroli or Arborio rice

1/2 bottle (3/4 cup) dry white wine

About 6 cups chicken stock, as needed

Squash Puree

1 red kuri squash, halved, seeded, and flesh cut into large dice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Kosher salt

1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon whole cloves

To Plate

1 cup sliced fresh chanterelles

Unsalted butter as needed

1 tablespoon minced candied ginger

Freshly grated nutmeg

Calvados as needed

Chicken stock

Grated Parmesan cheese as needed

Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

Brown butter–toasted pecans as needed

Microgreens, such as radish, kale or tatsoi, as needed


For the risotto base: In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, sweat the shallots and garlic in the butter. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice sounds like pebbles and dries out. Add the white wine and cook down until almost gone, stirring frequently. Add enough stock to cover the rice. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but still al dente, about 30 minutes. (You may need one or two more additions of stock to cook the rice to the desired texture.) Spread the rice thinly on a baking sheet and cool rapidly in the refrigerator. (The risotto base can be made in advance, kept in the refrigerator for a few days, and finished in only a few minutes.)

For the squash puree: Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the diced squash in a roasting pan and season with the butter, maple syrup, sherry vinegar and salt. Add the thyme, fennel seeds and cloves, then pour 1/4 inch of water into the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the squash is tender. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs and cloves.

In batches if necessary, puree the squash in a blender until smooth. Pass the puree through a chinois to strain, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and reserve.

To plate:  In a large heavy sauté pan, sear the chanterelles in 1 tablespoon butter until lightly colored. Add the candied ginger and nutmeg to taste and a couple teaspoons of Calvados.

Add the cooked rice and about 1 cup of the squash puree, and heat through. Adjust the texture with stock: You are looking for a loose and creamy, but not soupy, consistency. If the rice is too thick, thin with stock, but remember that you are still adding Parmesan and butter to finish, which will loosen up the risotto. Over medium-low heat, mount the risotto by gradually stirring in about 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup Parmesan until the risotto is smooth and luxurious. Adjust the seasoning with additional Calvados, squash puree, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Garnish with brown butter–toasted pecans and microgreens.

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