Butternut and Roquefort Cheese Risotto

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This risotto is one of my favorites. It features a good amount of butternut squash, and some delicious Roquefort cheese made with raw milk. You can also use Blue cheese or gorgonzola if you can’t find Roquefort.

A classic Italian rice dish, risotto is traditionally prepared with a variety of short-grained rice called arborio rice. It is now readily available in most supermarkets.

butternut-blue-cheese-risotto

The procedure for making risotto involves stirring hot vegetable, chicken or fish stock into the uncooked rice, a ladleful at a time, and cooking on medium heat, uncovered, waiting for the stock to be absorbed slowly. This technique releases the arborio’s starches, making a creamy dish.

For a detailed and illustrated demonstration of how to make risotto, here’s a step-by-step tutorial.


Serves 4 – Prep. time 40 mn.

3 cups butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch of thyme
300g arborio rice (short-grained rice)
about 2-3 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
7 oz. (100g) Roquefort cheese, diced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
black pepper
sea salt, to taste

Cut the butternut squash into cubes; place in an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Place in warm oven and roast for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays warm. You may need more stock than indicated.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the rice to the pot and stir so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, but make sure you don’t let the rice turn brown.

On medium heat, add a ladle of warm vegetable stock to the rice and stir from time to time until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

Make sure you stir at least every 30 seconds, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.

As it cooks, you’ll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.

Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for about 20 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto isn’t done yet, you can use some hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.

Stir in the remaining butter, the roasted butternut, the parmesan cheese, black pepper, and sprinkle with the oregano. Taste and add sea salt if needed.

Serve in plates, and add the Roquefort cheese on top.


 

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