October 26, 2007

Butternut Squash Risotto in Pumpkin Bowl Recipe


It’s the motif of the season: the ever-present pumpkin. You carve them, decorate them, even drill holes in them, but perhaps the best way to show them off is on the dinner table — as bumpy, colorful serving bowls (the more warts the better).

After carving a couple of massive jack-o'-lanterns for the front step, hollowing out these cute sugar pumpkins was a snap. It only takes a minute but your guests will think otherwise, especially when they lift off the top to find this butternut squash risotto hidden inside.

Risotto has a reputation as a high-maintenance dish, but you seriously don’t need to hover over the stove, stirring your little heart out, while your guests are carousing. A gentle stirring every time you add a cup of stock is just fine. The result is a super-comforting main course that will chase away the evening chill.

Read on for this risotto recipe...

Butternut Squash Risotto in Pumpkin Bowl

If you can’t find black kale, just use regular kale. I used sugar pumpkins for the bowls, but you can use any kind of edible squash, such as the green speckled Carnival squash pictured. Makes 4 big servings or 6 small, depending on pumpkin size.

  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 head black kale (also known as Tuscan kale or cavolo nero), stems and center ribs removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • sugar pumpkins, hollowed out

Bring 8 cups broth to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir kale into broth and simmer until tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, and cut into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a wide heavy pot. Add onion and squash and sauté until tender, 10 minutes. Add rice, and stir to coat with oil. Let cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add wine and simmer until evaporated. Add 1 cup broth; simmer until all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each cup to be absorbed before adding the next. Risotto should be creamy when done. Remove from heat, and stir in thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, kale, and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to pumpkin bowls, and serve.

Posted by Grace on October 26, 2007 in Food and Drink

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3 responses to "Butternut Squash Risotto in Pumpkin Bowl Recipe"

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My household was just looking for a butternut squash recipe. I'll have to pass this one along -- I think the chicken broth could easily be replaced with vegetable broth. Also, when you're hollowing out the pumpkins, save the seeds and bake 'em and you'll have a snack for later!

I tried the recipe and loved it. You're right in that it's not a ton of work for this recipe. The only problem I encountered was knowing how much broth to use. The recipe tells you to simmer the kale in the broth. But how much broth? I used 2 cups and then used the remaining 6 cups for the rest of the recipe. But, I was unsure. Can you please update the recipe with those specific instructions?

Hi Becky, I'm so glad you liked the recipe! You should simmer the kale in all 8 cups of the broth and then use that same broth for the risotto. That way the broth will be warm when you add it to the rice.