Honeynut Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of my go to dishes.  Throw in any seasonal veggie and I guarantee it will impress your guests. If you’ve never tried to make risotto here is what you might not know, it’s pretty easy! But that’s not to say it’s quick. This is not a meal that can be rushed or simplified but if you’ve got some time and want to make something memorable for a special someone, this is your dish.  This recipe is based off of my basic risotto, which you can make by skipping the addition of squash and rosemary.

Honeynut Squash is a special variety of squash created by Stone Barns Center. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a not for profit farm in Westchester that focuses on changing the way America eats and farms. Stone Barns works with Cornell’s Plant Science Department to test out varieties of crops from Cornell’s massive seed locker. Some of these saved seeds are crossed with other plants to make hybrid varieties. The Honeynut Squash is one such hybrid.

The Honeynut Squash is a cross between an unnamed squash from the Cornell locker, and the more familiar Butternut Squash. The Honeynut looks like a small Butternut with darker orange skin and flesh. The Honeynut is remarkably sweet and is phenomenal on its own. High Mowing Seed Company now sells the seeds for the crop. If you are lucky enough you might even have some Honeynut Squash at your local farmers market. I hear that Van Houten Farms, who sell at the Union Square Greenmarket, had some Honeynut’s for sale last month.  For this recipe if you cannot find Honeynut Squash, Butternut squash can be substituted.

Honeynut Squash

Butternut Squash on Left and Honeynut Squash on Right – Photo Credit to @unsqgreenmarket on Instagram

Ingredients for Honeynut Squash Risotto

2 Honeynut Squash (1 Butternut Squash)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup Arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock

½ cup white wine (I used chardonnay, although dry white is usual preferred for risotto)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

½ white onion chopped

Black pepper to taste

Squash Risotto

The Finished Product – Meredith’s Honeynut Squash Risotto

Directions:

Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water, place over flame until it begins to simmer.

Pour stock into a pot on your back burner over medium heat until it begins to simmer and then reduce to low heat.

Slice squash in half length wise and remove seeds. Place flesh down in the pan to steam the squash. Remove squash once soft enough to easily pierce with a fork through the skin and flesh, about 20 minutes.

Once squash is tender, reserve ½ cup of the steaming liquid and add to the stock.

Using a spoon scoop out flesh of the squash into a bowl. Discard skin.

Place saucepan over medium low heat. Add butter, oil and onion.

Once onion is translucent add the Arborio rice. Stir the rice to coat it with the oil and butter. Toast the rice for about 1 minute.

Add squash, making sure to break up any larger pieces.

Add wine and let it reduce completely until there is about ½ the amount of liquid, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 ladle full of stock mixture. Stir every few minutes until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat this step until rice is almost fully cooked and about one ladle full remains. (30 minutes)

Remove from heat. Add final ladle full or stock, rosemary, cheese and black pepper. Stir until completely combined. Cover for 10 minutes.

Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a crack of black pepper if desired.

Total Cook time: about 1 hour
Serves: 4-5 as a main course

To learn more about stone barns seed saving and trails check out this link www.StoneBarnCenters.Org

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About The Author

Profile photo of Meredith
Sustainable Eater

As a former athlete with an intense competitive nature I like to challenge my cooking skills with new recipes and unfamiliar ingredients. I source local and organic ingredients as much as possible. I’m on a mission to conquer the kitchen