Winter Squash for Spring

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Asian and Vegetarian | 1 comment

It is no secret; I adore butternut squash.  It is not just for Thanksgiving-- Yes, it is a pain to peel and prep. Yes, you can buy it already manicured and cut into perfect little cubes. However, you miss the deep dense nutty richness found in a vine-ripened gourd.  It can be grilled, roasted, mashed, sautéed, pureed for soups or layered in casseroles.







I have matched it up with black beans for tasty tacos with avocado, goat cheese, and micro greens and now made it the deep orange star in a barley risotto.








Inspired by  Real Simple, I sought the same creamy texture that comes from the ritual of stirring Arborio rice in a traditional risotto.







I know you need to see one more picture of an onion and garlic in seasoned sauté mode.  I used olive oil instead of butter.








Add the barley and stir to coat the grains before stirring in the white wine to sizzle away. I used hot vegetable broth, which reinforced the orange of the squash; chicken stock would work equally well.







When 3 of the 6 cups of stock has been added over the course of about 20 minutes or so;







add the cubed squash and repeat the process until all the stock has been lovingly absorbed and the barley is cooked and the squash is tender (another 20 minutes or so).







True to tradition, a knob of butter could be introduced here







as you finish it with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh sage.








This is the cozy bowl of comfort eaten as a prize for patient attention to stirring detail; or as a side dish to a Sunday supper.








The little glass dish of leftovers is pretty darn good eaten cold by the light of the refrigerator too.


One Comment

  1. 3-29-2014

    True confession at the end! (-:

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