I think I might be a late adopter of this baked risotto thing? It certainly wouldn't be the first time I was late to know about the latest and greatest new 'thing'. But now that I know, I am never going back. I shall not stir and stir and stir a pot of risotto ever again. I shall only whip out my dutch oven with tight fitting lid, bring ingredients to boil, and place in oven for 20 minutes, from here on out. Truly, that's it! And yes, it really does makes a creamy, dreamy pot of risotto. I didn't believe it would actually work until I tried it for myself. But now I have and dare I say, I do believe!
Butternut Squash Baked Risotto with Tuscan Kale:
Yields 4 generous servings
1 TB olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2# butternut squash, diced into 1" pieces
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch tuscan kale, tough mid ribs & stems removed, sliced into 1/2" ribbons
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and red chile flakes to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 5 quart dutch oven, or other oven-safe pot with tight fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme, the rice, and a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is well coated with the oil. Add the white wine and stir until evaporated.
2) Add the butternut squash, the vegetable stock, and the kale. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir to combine ingredients. Place the covered pot in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Reserve 2 TB of the parmesan cheese for serving and stir in the rest. Season to taste with salt, pepper & red chile flakes. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan and serve warm.