Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Squash Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Chard


Why don’t I make risotto more often??  Overall it’s a simple one pot dish that comes out tasting like something you would get at a fabulous restaurant.

Especially when you throw in a handful of wild mushrooms, and some naturally sweet squash puree


I’ve had this delicata squash sitting on my counter for easily over a month now and just haven’t known what I wanted to do with it.

Then last weekend I decided to pick up some Arborio rice from TJ’s, and already had the chicken broth in my pantry


I scanned my cookbooks, and then the internet and decided to use this Cooking Light recipe as my inspiration as it incorporated squash as well as radicchio which I would sub for a green leafy vegetable.

The next special addition to the risotto came in the form of some wild mushrooms Brian and I picked out at Whole Foods.  We walked in and they had a big display of different mushroom varieties, many of which I had never heard of…including these:   


These are Cauliflower Mushrooms…ok I lied.  I think the signs may not have been clear as to which mushrooms they were because I just goggled “Cauliflower Mushrooms” and they do NOT look like these!  Hmmmm….

Anyone know what these are??  I think if I heard the name I could remember if I saw it at the Whole Food’s display?IMG_6679

Shallots, Chard, and the mushrooms… IMG_6681 IMG_6684

Winter Squash Risotto
with Wild Mushrooms and Chard
inspired by Cooking Light

  • 1 large shallot (approx ½ cup chopped)
  • ½ cup chopped wild mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard (or other greens), remove most of center rib
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cup Arborio Rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth (may use under 4 cups)
  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400

Cut squash lengthwise, remove seeds and pulp, and place skin side down in a baking pan with about ½” water on the bottom. Brush squash with about 2tsp olive oil, sprinkle with salt + pepper. Roast for 40-45 min until flesh is tender. Once cooled, scoop out flesh and puree in a food processor (I had to add a little water to get it to puree)

Tear each chard leaf into 3-4 pieces (like big salad size pieces)

In a medium saucepan heat chicken stock on your stove on med-low to keep the stock warm while making the risotto.  You don’t want it boiling though, just warm.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in large heavy pot.  Add chard and sauté until wilted.  Remove chard to a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.


Back in the pot, add the remaining olive oil.

Then add shallots, mushrooms, and dry rice IMG_6691

Sauté for about 5 min, then add 1/2 cup dry white wine and stir until wine is absorbed.IMG_6695

Then add warm chicken stock about 1/2 cup at a time.  I usually just use a full ladle’s worth, maybe a little more each time instead of trying to measure out the stock.  The important thing is to add the stock in increments.  KEEP STIRING!!  That’s the most important thing! 

Each time you add stock, stir stir stir until the rice has absorbed it.  All this stirring is what makes the risotto creamy, and what makes it “risotto” and not just yummy rice.IMG_6696

I used almost all the stock, there was only about 1/4-1/2 cup left in the pot by the time it was done.  This process took about 20-25 min. 

When you’re getting towards the end of your broth, add in the squash puree…keep stirring!

This is also one of those dishes that you need to keep tasting until you know it’s done.  You want the grains of rice to be firm, ‘al dente’, but not crunchy.  To me, it’s done when it’s just past the crunchy stage.  


When you deem your risotto “done”, add back in the sautéed chard, butter, and the grated parmesan cheese…mmmm.

This is also when you would add salt and pepper to taste.  I didn’t think it needed anything, but perhaps if you used vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth you might want some salt.IMG_6700

Serve with a little more cheese sprinkled on top :)  IMG_6702

This was amazing.   IMG_6703

Brian and I were both raving about it as we ate it.  Must make again, and must explore more risotto varieties! 

All the flavors blended really well, no one ingredient stood out over the others. The mushrooms were subtle but definitely noticed and added a great flavor to this!  The squash added more of a creaminess and hint of sweetness.


What are your favorite risottos??? 


  1. I love risotto! And I definitely think squash risotto is my favorite. I love mushroom risotto too :) And pretty much ALL kinds :) This looks fabulous!


  2. I agree... risotto is a fantastic dish that I should really make more often! My favorite risotto recipes include a winter squash wheat berry risotto I posted sometime last year, a tex-mex risotto that I adapted from Cooking Light, and an Italian-inspired risotto with shrimp and parmesan. I am now craving a big bowl of risotto ;).

  3. Ahh... risotto is a great dish and is not as hard as people would think. My favorite version was probably the duck risotto my husband and I made one Vday. Sooo indulgent!

  4. Your risotto looks fantastic, especially for this cold winter weather! I also love your little serving bowls!

  5. Delicious! Risotto is seriously one of my most favorite dishes. I used to be really intimidated by it until I realized as long as you stir- its easy peasy. Yours looks awesome! I roasted up a delicata squash last night- it was fab. My favorite risotto is an ellie krieger recipe

  6. This looks amazing! Your bowls are supre cute too. the last risotto I had was a red wine and fig (at Rialto!) which was just incredible.

  7. yeah, i definitely go through phases where i make it all the time and this year it's been awhile. perhaps those are chanterelle's? not sure though...

  8. You know, I don't think I've ever had risotto before! I need to get on that! The squash risotto looks delicious!

  9. I really want to try making risotto so I'm going to give this one a try.

  10. Looks yummy! I make risotto pretty often; it is the ultimate comfort food!

  11. This looks delicious! I haven't made risotto in a while - I need to make it happen.
    Mushroom risotto's are some of my favorite - but I never met a risotto I didn't like!

  12. What a delicious looking cold weather dish. Yes!! I do hope we meet at another event soon!

  13. Hi there! Just started following ou on Twitter because FoodBlogs recommended you. Nice to have a fellow foodblogger so close (I'm in Wakefield). Looking forward to reading your blog. This risotto looks wonderful!