Butternut Squash Risotto and Anna Pesä Chardonnay

Recently my daughter and I stopped at my mother’s house for dinner while my father happened to be away on a fishing trip. Dad is the kind of guy who has to have meat with every meal so when it’s just us girls, Mom likes to make something a little different. It was 90-degrees out that day but we were craving the taste of fall, so Mom made butternut squash risotto with an easy panzanella salad on the side. Both recipes are below.

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I had just picked up my autumn wine club shipment from Prairie Berry Winery so we reached for the the 2014 Anna Pesä Chardonnay included in the shipment.

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The winemaker at Prairie Berry is a fifth generation South Dakotan, and I happen to be as well. In fact, my mother, my daughter, and I ate this meal on my great-great-grandmother’s dishes. Well, because she is a one-year-old, my daughter ate her giant helping of risotto off a plastic plate with a picture of a pig on it, but some day we will trust her to eat off the heirloom dishes.

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Mom’s risotto and panzanella recipes are below. Measurements are not specific as my mother refuses to follow a recipe, which is probably why her cooking is so good. Enjoy these dishes on a crisp fall day with a nice glass of wine.

Risotto Recipe:

  • Sautee 1 1/2 cups of diced butternut squash, 1/4 cup of diced onion, and 1 clove of minced garlic in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice to the skillet and sautee for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and cook until wine evaporates.
  • Turn the heat to low and add approximately 1 cup of chicken broth.
  • Simmer on low, stirring occasionally until broth is cooked out.
  • Keep adding 1 cup of broth and cooking until risotto is thickened.
  • Finish with 2 tablespoons of butter and a sprinkle of dried herbs. Mom recommends Herbs de Provence.
  • Enjoy!

Panzanella Recipe:

  • Cut up some bread into bite-size pieces and toast it for a few minutes in the oven at 350 degrees. Any type of bread will do. You can even use croutons.
  • Combine approximately 3 cups of diced tomatoes with approximately 3 cups of the bread pieces.
  • Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of goat cheese.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh basil.
  • And, of course, enjoy!

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