Butternut Squash Risotto Night


A couple of weeks ago, M and I were talking about how we both love fall and winter food, especially butternut squash. I thought to myself, “self, I wonder if I can find a good recipe for butternut squash risotto.” So, I Googled it, and found a recipe I liked on CDKitchen, and I asked M if she wanted to plan a night to get together and make the risotto. We decided to set a date for a few weeks out, and from then on referred to it as “Butternut Squash Risotto Night.”

This last Saturday was the night.I picked up a good sized squash at the Farmers’ Market at Grand Lake. We went together to the grocery store to pick up the remaining ingredients, and then headed back to M’s house. That was when we realized that we were missing an ingredient. This all added to the fun. We got back, and it was time to get to business.

I decided that I wanted to take on the squash. It was a big’un, and it took quite a bit of heft to get it cut in half. I’m sure M thought I was going to lose a limb. Once I had it halved and the seeds removed, I had to figure out how to get the peel off. I tried the big scary butcher’s knife, which just slid across the skin. M tried a cheese slicer, but that was just as ineffective. Finally I was able to get through the tough and slick skin with a serrated steak knife.While I skinned and chopped the squash, M worked on onions, garlic, cheese, and lemon zest. We did quite a bit of talking, so of course it took us a while. I don’t even know what time it was when we started.

Finally, with all the prep work done, we actually began cooking. M got the butter, oil, onions, and garlic going, then we added rice and started adding squash. This is where the, “are we doing this right?”s began. At first we were afraid that the squash wouldn’t cook. That maybe we were supposed to pre-cook the squash or the rice. Though the instructions didn’t say that. It became clear. though, that continual stirring was necessary.

As we began adding in the wine and started adding stock, we weren’t really sure what to expect, I don’t think. I stirred, and M added additional stock. The mixture became thicker and fuller with each half cup. Soon it was beginning to resemble something edible. But yet, the squash still seemed to be under-cooked. I stirred and stirred. We yammered on and on, as we do.

Finally, just as the pot seemed to be getting to small, we both realized that both the rice and the squash seemed to be just done. We added in the cheese and final seasoning. Then we dished it up with chives and basil on top.


Of course there was enough for M’s husband to have some, too. We all three sat around the Tivo with our bowls of risotto and a glass of wine. M’s kittens were very intrigued by the risotto, too.

It was awesome. It was some yummy, cheesy, and good. We all decided that it was the perfect fall and winter cozy, comfort food. Making it together was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to making the dish again, and I highly recommend the recipe. I also am looking forward to getting together with M or any of my friends to make something new.

Indian Summer – My Favorite Time of the Year

Today was one of the awesome, sunny, clear days in San Francisco. These are the kind of gorgeous days that make you forget when you were freezing your nose off in the middle of July in the fog. It was warm, brilliant, and comfortable out in The City today.

I went over to the farmers’ market at the Ferry Building on Embarcadero at lunch. I got a vegan tamale for lunch, and picked up persimmons.

I love the “fall” in the city. It’s funny, though, that in other parts of the country, it’s starting to turn cold, and people are unpacking their sweaters and coats. Here, we never pack up the sweaters or coats, because you’re just as likely to need them in June as you are in January. However, you also never know when you can wear skirts and sandals. I think tomorrow is going to be a skirt and sandal day for me personally. It’s nearly October.

I hope that this October does not disappoint me. It’s usually the warmest month of the year here, but this year has been very off. We didn’t get enough rain over the winter, and then it never got as hot inland as it normally does. It’s normal for it to be barely 60 in The City in August, but not in Concord. I guess only time will tell, but I’m hoping for many more brilliantly warm fall afternoons in San Francisco.