Risotto is my favorite way to cook & learn about obscure squash. Normally I'm cooking with butternut or acorn squash but late last autumn my CSA handed out beautiful turban & delicate squash. Time to make risotto!
Ingredients: - 1 turban squash & 1 delicate squash roasted (if you don't have either grab a butternut or acorn squash...even pumpkin will do) - 2 cups of farro, or arborio rice - 6 cups of homemade chicken stock - 1 shallot, diced - 1 dried bay leaf - 1 pinch of saffron - 1 pinch of dried thyme, and one pinch of dried thyme blossoms to finish (from the garden) - butter or olive oil - goat cheese, I used Cherry Glen's Monococy Ash. About half went into the dish at the end, the other half made a nice cooks treat! - 1/2 cup of fresh grated parm or asiago cheese
Method: - an hour or so ahead of time, soak your farro (this will expedite cooking. Alternatively you can purchase par-cooked farro) this is a good time to roast that squash. I just half the squash, drizzle some olive oil and roast at 425 until I smell the squash. 25-30 mins. The squash should be super soft. - in a stock pot, simmer stock with scooped out roasted squash, saffron, thyme & bay leaf - in a large dutch oven, melt a few tbsp of butter with a bit of olive oil & when melted toss in the diced shallot - when the shallot is translucent add the farro and a ladle of the stock mixture & stir with a wooden risotto spoon or any good spoon you have - over medium to medium/high heat continue to stir, ladle and cook until the farro is soft, about 25-30 minutes - finish with the grated cheese then the crumbled goat cheese - taste for seasoning & top with some dried thyme or dried thyme blossoms
Not only is this delicious meal fairly easy (2 pots!) and filling (roman soldiers survived on farro!) it is also romantic...if we were eating in this Valentines Day I'd definitely be making this for my loved ones. Everyone can pitch in, and risotto tastes best with a generous helping of love.
What are you cooking up this Valentines Day?