Recipes on November 16, 2012 by

Better Bitter Blonde: Kamut® Berry & Butternut Squash Risotto

 A delicious alternative to traditional risotto perfectly fall themed for the cool nights of October and November. This dish would make a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Make it with vegetable stock as a main dish for your vegetarian guests or serve it alongside crusty bread and a green salad for a warm meal on a cold fall evening. Risottos are a little time-consuming, but so worth it! Be sure to soak the Kamut® berries overnight to cut down on cooking time. If you’re aiming to make this for Thanksgiving this year and can’t find Kamut® berries, try wheat berries instead. 

Kamut® Berry & Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 4

Active Time: 60-75 minutes

Total Time: 9 hours (includes overnight soaking)

  • 1 Butternut Squash (1½-2 lbs.), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 5 tsp Olive Oil, divided
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground Black Pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Kamut® Berries, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 5 tsp Unsalted Butter, divided
  • ¾ cup finely diced Yellow Onion (about ½ large onion)
  • 1-½ tsp minced Garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • ½ cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Sage Leaves, finely sliced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Special Equipment: microwave, food processor

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Using a fork, pierce the skin of half of the squash several times and place cut side down on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until squash is softened. When cool enough to handle, scoop out squash flesh and reserve. Peel the other half of the butternut squash and cut into ½” cubes. Place cubes on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to coat. Bake until caramelized, about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place soaked Kamut® berries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the berries have cracked and start to release some of their starch – about 20-25 pulses. Set aside.

In a medium saucepot, bring reserved butternut squash and stock up to a simmer. Whisk to combine (there will still be chunks). Place a second medium saucepot over medium heat. Melt 2 teaspoons butter with 2 teaspoons olive oil. When butter is foamy, add diced onions and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir in the cracked Kamut® berries to toast them, and then pour in the wine.

Once the wine has been mostly absorbed, add the stock and squash mixture 1 cup at a time. Let simmer, stirring occasionally until mostly absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been used and the Kamut berries are plump and no longer crunchy, about 40 – 50 minutes. Risotto should not be soupy. If it is, continue to cook over medium heat so that the Kamut berries absorb more of the stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in the reserved butternut squash cubes and sage leaves and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter and grated Parmesan. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately.

Christianne Winthrop’s culinary career began in early 2009, when she left her job in commercial real estate to focus on food. Since then, she has launched her own boutique catering company, specializing in modern American cuisine with a healthy twist, and teaches in-home cooking classes to “kitchen chickens.”

When Christianne isn’t teaching or catering, she is a freelance food writer with credits in The Los Angeles Times and BrainWorld magazine. She is also a regular contributor to and CBS Local’s “Best of LA” website. Christianne blogs at Better Bitter Blonde where you can find her thoughts and recipes.


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