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Some People Just Like Rice, I Guess November 2, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Light, random stuff.

Y’all know I was raised in the Midwest, right?

Our people didn’t do risotto.  I mean, rice was something that was served with Chinese food, and that mainly had “La Choy” on the can.

It wasn’t until the advent of, well, Food Network, I guess, that I’d ever even heard of risotto, and it was well after that before I got the nerve to try it.

And try it I did.  Even non-risotto risotto.

Suffice it say that we’re fans of risotto around here – after all, just because I came to it later in life doesn’t mean I love it any less, you know?

PhotobucketAnd last month, Cooking Light‘s “The Enlightened Cook” feature, well, they featured a Butternut Squash Risotto.

We like butternut squash.

Or at least I do, and since I’m the one who goes to the public market every other week and manages to find a nice specimen for a buck, well, let’s just say Peeps likes it too, and leave it at that, okay?


This one was actually kind of neat – we started out by roasting 3 cups of diced squash.

In our case, we diced a whole squash, and the Jar and I picked at it while we were waiting for dinner.

There was probably about 3 cups left by the time we were done.

We took most of the squash – 2 cups or so – and blended that with a quart of warmed chicken stock.


Then we added a couple of cups of water, besides.

Basically, we get a slightly-thickened, slightly-diluted chicken broth.  That’s going to be our risotto-cooking liquid.

Meanwhile,we also chopped and sauteed about 4 slices of bacon – hey, bacon.

PhotobucketPlus, after getting rid of most of the bacon grease, what was left, a tablespoon or so, was just about right for sauteeing the rice – two cups of Arborio.

Hey, that’s bacony goodness right there, you know?

Waste not want not.

Cook the rice 2 minutes, stirring constantly.


Then we start stirring in the chicken stock-squash-water mixture, starting with a couple of ladles full, along with a healthy pinch of salt.

Then we just carry on with standard risotto protocol,  adding the liquid (squashy stock) a ladleful at a time, stirring (pretty much) constantly until the liquid is absorbed by the rice, then adding more.

We keep this up until the liquid is done, adding the reminder of the roasted squash (assuming you and the dog didn’t eat it all) with the last addition of liquid – the squash is already cooked, but we do want to make sure it’s hot.

PhotobucketBe sure to check your rice here – we found that we needed to cook it a bit longer, and add another half cup or so of liquid (we used water) to keep the risotto from sticking – and even then, it could have gone even a bit longer, but we were hungry.

Garnish with the bacon and a good bit of minced parsley, and, if you’re less concerned with the “light” part of Cooking Light, I’d definitely top the whole thing with a pat of butter.

Butter makes everything better.

All in all, this is a decent recipe – Definitely add a bit more squash, up the broth, and add butter, then let it cook a little longer, and you have got a definite winner – a seasonal dish, warm, healthy and tasty, too.

Gosh, I love risotto.


1. anne - November 2, 2011

Nom nom nom. I just cooked butternut squash tonight, and I have part of one left. Hmmmmm. I have the parsley, what to do for the bacon? I supposed leaving it out is out of the question. I wonder what a drop of liquid smoke would do, would that muck it up? If all else fails, sprinkly liberally with parmesan cheese. Cheese fixes everything, no? It goes where bacon fears to tread. 😀

Bacon ain’t afraid of no parmesan cheese! Maybe try a bit of smoked paprika? Or yeah, leave it out and add plenty of onions and garlic – you want something that’ll add some flavor, even if it’s not a lovely, smoky pork flavor. 😉

2. judy - November 2, 2011

Yum! Warm. Colorful. Works for me! 🙂

And leftovers reheated nicely, too. 😉

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