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Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto

October 28, 2011

I’m proud to say I roasted squash for the first time! This week I received a nice sized squash in my organic delivery box. I roasted it, then pureed it to add into the risotto. Making risotto can be a bit labor intensive, as it requires lots of stirring, but it’s worth it. The scallops are a cinch to make–cook them 3-4 minutes per side and they’re good to go.

Ingredients:

3-4 cups chicken broth

butter

half onion, diced

1½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

parmesan cheese, freshly grated

salt and pepper

good olive oil

1-2 butternut squash

agave, honey or maple syrup

balsamic vinegar (optional)

scallops (as many as you want)

Preheat your oven to 375. Slice the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp, then drizzle both halves with olive oil and agave (or other sweetener) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast it about 45 minutes, or until it’s nice and soft. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop it out and into a food processor. Add a bit more salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil (or agave, etc.). Blend it as you like–leave it a bit chunky for the risotto or smooth and creamy. Set the squash aside.

Now for the risotto…pour the chicken broth into a pot and bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat to keep it warm. You’ll be gradually adding this warm broth into the rice. In a separate saucepan, melt some butter (a couple of tablespoons) and then add the onions. When the onions begin to soften, add the rice to the pot. Give everything a good mix and then add the wine. When the wine is nearly evaporated, you can begin to gradually add the chicken broth into the rice. (I add 2 ladles at a time.) Be sure the broth is pretty much all absorbed before adding more. Continue to stir almost constantly, be careful the rice doesn’t burn or stick to the pan as the broth is absorbed. Finish by adding all the broth, then test the rice for doneness. You might need to add a bit more broth if the rice isn’t fully cooked.

As the risotto is nearly finished, add some olive oil to a non-stick saute pan over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then add them to the hot pan. Cook them on each side for 3-4 minutes–moving them only when they are ready to turn.

Remove the cooked risotto from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese (as much as you like), another pat of butter and the squash mixture. Serve immediately while hot, placing the scallops on top.

*Make this a bit more family friendly by having chicken instead of scallops for the kids!*

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