Baked Risotto with Winter Squash Courtsey of: Courtesy of cooking.nytimes.com
This subtle, creamy side dish captures the flavors of autumn and pairs well with white, red, and Rosé wines.
- 1 ½ lbs. winter squash
- 1 lb. Arborio rice
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing dish
- 1 medium onion, diced, about 1 cup
- 1 medium leek, white and tender green part, diced, about 1 cup
- Pinch of saffron (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 C. squash broth (see note) or chicken broth, hot
- 8 oz. Gruyère, grated, about 2 loosely packed cups
- 1 C. fresh ricotta
- 4 oz. Parmesan, grated, about 3/4 cup
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 C. coarse dry bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Peel squash and cut into very thin slices, 1/16-inch thick. Then cut slices into flat 2-inch squares. (Reserve the scraps, including peels, to make squash stock if desired.)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice and let simmer for 8 minutes so it is parcooked, with the grains still hard in the center.
- Drain rice in a colander, rinse with cold water, then spread on a baking sheet to cool.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add leek and saffron, if using, and stir to coat. When leek is softened but still green, after 2 minutes, add squash, stir to coat and turn off heat. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add parcooked rice, hot broth, Gruyère, ricotta, Parmesan and lemon zest, mixing gently with a wooden spoon.
- Pour rice mixture into a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs, pressing down to smooth surface.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Tent with foil if necessary. Garnish with parsley just before serving.