Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Basil

So, I subscribe to at least half a dozen cooking magazines. There's Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Everyday Food, Cooking Light, Eating Well, and Vegetarian Times. Plus the magazines that aren't entirely food related but that always have a recipe section: Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple... what I'm trying to say is, a lot of magazine recipes pass through my hands each month. Many of them get torn out and placed in a "to-make" folder that I turn to for inspiration as I'm planning my menu for the week.

This recipe is one I must have torn out last winter and then never gotten to. It's been languishing in the folder for months, all summer long, when butternut was the last thing from my mind. But I knew as soon as squash was back in season, this risotto was gettin' made. Today was finally the day, and it was totally worth the wait. Hopefully I won't wait until next year before making it again.

Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Basil
From Bon Appetit
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from a 2 to 2 1/2 pound squash)
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch slices leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 7-8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash and saute until beginning to soften and brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer squash to medium bowl.
Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, leeks, and thyme to same pot and stir until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Return squash to pot. Continue to cook until rice is just tender but still very creamy, stirring gently and often, about 10 minutes (about 25 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat. Stir in basil and freshly grated Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.