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Butternut Orzo Risotto

By Lynda's Recipe Box


Quite a few years ago, my Mother gave me a gift subscription to "Country Woman" magazine, a sister publication of "Taste of Home". I've enjoyed reading each issue from cover to cover, and each time it arrives in my mailbox, I think of my Mom's gift. Since my Mom passed away 3 years ago, I still continue to receive it as many of the stories in it make me think of her. Plus, there are some good recipes, like this Butternut Orzo Risotto, that I tried this week. I love butternut squash, so when I spied this recipe in the October/November issue, I knew I had to try it. It is delicious and not hard to make. The most time consuming part is peeling and cubing the squash. My photos for this step were not great, so please check out A Veggie Venture, for a great tutorial on cutting up this squash. This informative post written by Allana, is quite helpful if you don't know how to wrangle the large squash. So, after you get the squash cubed, it is roasted in the oven in some olive oil until tender. Don't over cook it! While it roasts in the oven, saute onion in a skillet, then add garlic and the orzo along with chicken broth. It is stirred constantly just as if you were making risotto with rice, and then

adding more broth as it absorbed. After broth is absorbed, throw in some herbs and mix in the tender roasted butternut squash. It looks beautiful, smells wonderfully herby

and tastes delicious! I love squash anyway, but it was fantastic prepared this way. My husband gave it a "10", so that means it's good, real good! I hope you'll try it!

BUTTERNUT ORZO RISOTTO (slightly adapted)
3 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1/2 inch cubes)
2 tsp. olive oil (recipe calls for 1 tsp.)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
3 cups lowfat, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced onion ( recipe calls for 1 small onion)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme (recipe calls for 1/2 tsp.)
1 1/2 tsp. fresh sage. minced ( I used 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley ( 2T. in recipe)
shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
Place cubed squash in a greased baking sheet and drizzle with the 2 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and 1/8 tsp. butter. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes til tender, but not mushy. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth in a small sauce pan or in the microwave. In a large skillet, saute onion in melted butter until tender. Add orzo and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and continue to stir until all the broth is absorbed. Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time. Allow liquid to absorb before adding more. Cook until risotto is creamy and orzo is almost tender, or al dente. Cooking time is about 15-20 minutes. Add the herbs, remaining 1/8 tsp. pepper and the roasted squash. Toss gently. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, if desired.
I loved the mix of flavors in this dish, I only regret that I didn't have fresh sage to use. Next time, I'll definitely buy some. The roasted squash is delicious, of course, but with the fresh thyme mixed in it was heavenly. I'll be making this often, as I couldn't quit eating it! Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy!






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