As the leaves start to turn and the air gets crisper, there's no better way to welcome the autumn season than with a warm, comforting bowl of Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto. This month, House of Knives invites you to explore the rich, earthy flavours of fall with this creamy, luxurious dish, perfect for cosy evenings at home. Let's embrace the season's bounty and learn how the right knives can elevate your cooking experience, transforming simple ingredients into a gourmet masterpiece.
The Essence of Butternut Squash Risotto
Risotto, a northern Italian rice dish cooked to a creamy consistency, is all about patience and the gradual absorption of broth into Arborio rice. This version, infused with the sweetness of butternut squash and the aromatic depth of sage, captures the essence of autumn in every bite.
For the Risotto:
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Sage Brown Butter:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- A handful of fresh sage leaves
Preparing the Ingredients:
- Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 400°F (200°C) for roasting the butternut squash.
Knife Highlight: ZWILLING Twin Fin II Santoku Knife 18cm
- Use Case: Cubing the butternut squash and finely chopping the onion.
- Why It's Special: The Santoku knife's sharp edge and hollow grounds reduce friction, making it perfect for cutting through starchy vegetables like butternut squash and for precise work like mincing onions.
- Roast the Squash: Toss the cubed squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread it on a baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelised for about 25 minutes.
- Sauté the Base: In a large pan, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Use Case: Mincing garlic.
- Why It's Special: The chef's knife offers control and precision, ideal for finely mincing garlic and ensuring even cooking.
- Toast the Rice: Add the Arborio rice to the pan, stirring constantly, until the edges of the grains become slightly translucent.
- Deglaze: Pour in the white wine and stir until it's mostly absorbed by the rice.
- Gradually Add Broth: Start adding the warm broth one ladle at a time, stirring continuously until each ladleful is absorbed before adding the next.
- Incorporate the Squash: Once the rice is al dente and creamy, gently fold in the roasted butternut squash.
- Stir in Cheese: Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Making the Sage Brown Butter:
- Prepare the Sage: Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Knife Highlight: Victorinox Swiss Classic Straight Blade Paring Knife Black 10cm
- Use Case: Preparing the sage leaves.
- Why It's Special: This small, agile knife is perfect for the delicate task of trimming sage leaves to the perfect size.
- Brown the Butter: Add the sage leaves to the butter. Cook until the butter starts to brown and the sage becomes crispy.
Plating Your Dish:
- Serve: Spoon the risotto into bowls, drizzle with the sage brown butter, and garnish with a sage leaf or two.
This Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto isn't just a dish; it's a celebration of autumn's abundance. With each step, your knives from House of Knives not only aid in the creation of this comforting meal but also add joy to the process, proving that a good knife is not just a tool but a partner in your culinary adventures.
As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, gather your loved ones and share this heartwarming meal, infused with the essence of the season. Stay tuned for more seasonal recipes, knife skills tips, and culinary inspiration from House of Knives.