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.


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.


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.


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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