Delicata Squash Risotto with Leeks


Like I’ve said before about my approach to cooking, I often come up with ideas for meals based on what Bill and I have on hand–in the fridge, in the pantry, or in the freezer. And since the fall, I’ve been storing several varieties of winter squash I bought from Visser Farms, because they keep well for using in the wintertime.

One kind is delicata. I’ve never cooked with it before so when I saw Bon Appetit’s recipe for Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Basil, I wondered if I could substitute the delicata for butternut. It turns out, sources say delicata tastes somewhat like a sweet potato, so I figured it was a good option to use in the risotto.

I made a number of other substitutions in this recipe as well. For example, I had some homemade chicken stock in the fridge that I needed to use so I substituted it for the vegetable broth. I didn’t have fresh basil so I just omitted it because I think thyme carries enough flavor on its own. And, as usual, I used Pecorino cheese instead of Parmesan to accommodate Bill’s cow dairy allergies.

It’s an easy recipe. After you peel the skin off the squash and scrape out the seeds, you chop it into small cubes and saute it for about 5 minutes in olive oil.

Then you slice up some leeks. These also came from Visser Farms and have been hanging out in my fridge for at least a month.

After removing the squash from the pot, you add the leeks and saute them with chopped fresh thyme in olive oil until tender.

Then add the rice (stirring for one minute) and broth.

Just like most risotto recipes, you keep adding broth as it gets absorbed by the rice, stirring frequently.

After about 15 minutes, you return the squash to the pot and cook about ten more minutes. Once the mixture is creamy and the broth absorbed, add fresh grated Pecorino cheese.

It’s a delicious meal on its own, or a yummy side dish.

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