Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Butternut Barley Risotto

Fall means butternut squash. Unfortunately today I do not have funny butternut squash anecdotes or witty banter. But here it is, butternut.

And a butternut risotto recipe where I worked in some wild rice which makes it very earthy and satisfying. First peel and small dice your squash. Toss with olive oil and season, then roast at 375 for 15-20 minutes until tender. I then put mine under the broiler for a minute to darken it up a little.

In a traditional risotto you wouldn’t want to get much color on the veg or the onion. But for this fall, barley and wild rice version, I like the toasty, earthy effect you get by caramelizing the vegetables.

So I sautéed the onion until soft and then allowed it to caramelize a little. Then I added barley and wild rice and sautéed in the oil, then I started adding hot veg stock. You have to stay in the kitchen, but barley cooks more slowly than arborio rice, so you can add the stock and do other things – you don’t have to babysit it quite so much.

About 50 minutes later, you’re cooked and you add the roasted squash, parm, and butter and dinner is served! Or of course serve next to roasted chicken or a piece of fish. We had ours with spinach frittata and it was excellent. Check out other seasonal and healthy recipes at food renegade.


Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


1 butternut squash, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup wild rice
4-5 cups vegetable stock, simmering
3 Tbsp olive oil (use more if your waistline allows)
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter
basil chiffonade, optional
salt and pepper to taste


- heat oven to 375 degrees
- toss squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and roast 15 - 20 minutes until tender; if it sounds appealing to you, toast under the broiler for 1 minute; set side
- heat remaining oil over medium high heat, add onion and sauté until soft; allow to keep cooking until onion caramelizes slightly
- add garlic and cook 1 minute
- add barley and wild rice and stir into oil and onions 1 minute
- add wine and allow to reduce by half
- add 1 - 2 cups simmering veg stock and reduce heat on barley to low
- allow the barley to slowly absorb the stock 5 - 10 minutes, then add another cup of stock. Continue until the grains are cooked and about 85% of the stock is absorbed
- stir in parmesan and roasted squash. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- finish with butter, serve and garnish with basil

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