Monday, December 6, 2010

Wild Mushroom & Roasted Vegetable Risotto

As a huge fan of risotto in restaurants I was intimidated to try and make it at home but this was relatively easy and tasted amazing. I will admit it takes some time, so this isn't a recipe you should make if you are in a rush or can't attend to the stove for at least 40 minutes. Up until this fall season I have never bought butternut squash let alone used in a recipe. It was an ingredient I wasn't familiar with at all but now I can't wait to use it again. It has this delicious taste that is sweet and savory at the same time. The Shoprite in Hoboken made my life simpler because it was already peeled and diced.

Adapted from both: Bride & Groom First & Forever Cookbook &

4 Cups / 1 Quart Vegetable Stock
1 cup Risotto (Arborio Rice)
1 Sm Eggplant - Peeled & diced into cubes
10oz Butternut Squash - Peel & diced into cubes
6 oz Crimini Mushrooms - Cleaned and Sliced
1 Red Pepper - Diced into large pieces
1 Onion - Diced into large pieces
1 Tbsp Diced Garlic
1/2 cup White Wine
1 Tbsp Margarine
4 Tbsp Olive Oil - 2 for Roasting Veggies / 2 for Mushrooms
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese & extra for topping
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
S&P to taste
Parsley for Garnish

Start by prepping all the vegetables. Put the eggplant, onion, pepper & butternut squash in a bowl, season with salt, pepper, thyme and add olive oil. Toss with your hands to coat and spread one layer thin on a baking sheet. With the oven @ 400 F roast the vegetables for 30 minutes flipping them over once half way through. While the vegetables are roasting you can begin to make the risotto.
Pour all of the vegetable stock into a pot and slowly heat it up on low on the burner next to where you are beginning the risotto. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan. Add the mushrooms but be sure not to crowd them together. They will not cook properly if they don't have enough room which is a technique I learned from Julia Child while watching the Julie & Julia movie. Cook the mushrooms until they are tender, about 8 minutes and then add the garlic cooking for about 2 more minutes.
Add the risotto and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, mixing well allow the risotto to soak up all the liquid which should take about 2-3 minutes. Once the risotto has absorbed the wine you can begin slowly adding the warm vegetable broth in 3/4 cup increments.
When you add the broth each time make sure you are stirring regularly and allowing the risotto enough time to absorb all the liquid. It should take between 20-25 minutes to add the entire quart of broth. By the time you are finish the risotto should be full, tender and creamy. Add the margarine, parmesan cheese, roasted vegetables and mix well. If you feel the risotto is beginning to stick add a little bit of water to the pan. Cook until everything is melted and mixed in. Salt & Pepper to taste. Divide into bowls and serve. Sprinkle with parsley and more parmesan cheese if desired.
      Enjoy!! - Nicole

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