STUFFED SQUASH WITH RISOTTO AND LOTS OF CHEESE
Although this risotto is cooked in a pilaf method, the short grain rice and cheese makes it very creamy. It can be served on its own but looks and tastes amazing in the squash cups. Serve them as an appetizer, vegetarian main course or a side dish.¬†You can do this with small pumpkins or squash, like¬†delicata, golden acorn, honey bear, dumpling or green acorn squash.
Makes 8 servings
- 4 small (about 1 lb each) winter squash, halved crosswise
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups short grain Italian rice
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup pureed cooked squash (scooped from the cooked squash)
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 8 oz Brie, rind removed and cubed
- 2 tbsp butter
- sprigs of fresh thyme
- Trim bottoms of squash so squash halves can stand up. Scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Brush cut surfaces with a little of the butter or olive oil and invert onto a parchment paper baking sheet so that the cut surfaces are down. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 40 to 45 minutes until squash is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining butter or oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook gently until fragrant but not brown.¬†Add rice and stir well. Cook about 2 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir for a few minutes. Reduce heat, cover and cook 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.
- When squash is cooked, turn hollow side up and gently remove a little of the cook squash from each. Mash squash (you should only have approximately a cup) and stir it into rice with parmesan, Brie and remaining butter. Season to taste. Spoon rice into the squash and top with a sprig of thyme. (Reheat in a preheated 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes if necessary.)