I love squash – roasted, sautéed, sweet, savory, in a pie, and in risotto. While this risotto is absolutely delicious, it is unlike most traditional risotto recipes. Here we are using pearled barley instead of Arborio rice. Barley is a cereal grain and keeps a little “bite” after cooking. It is a nice contrast to the butternut squash, which totally softens and sweetens after cooking. We are also omitting the need to constantly stir and add more broth; and instead, we add the broth all at once, lid, and let simmer for 15 minutes. The end result is flavorful and creamy.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all of the sides I want to make this year, and this dish is on the list! The Chopping Block has been hosting our popular Thanksgiving Crash Course for well over two decades, but this year, we are transitioning to a virtual class. Join our Owner/Chef Shelley Young as she shares all of the fundamentals for a perfect Thanksgiving dinner this year, and many years to come.
Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1” pieces
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup pearled barley
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Add butter and onions. Cook onions for a few minutes to slightly soften and golden around the edges.
2. Add butternut squash, barley, broth, and herbs. Stir carefully and cover with lid.
3. Simmer for 20 minutes. Check doneness of squash – it should be soft. Remove from heat.
4. Add in heavy cream and stir well. Taste for salt and pepper at this point. This dish will continue to thicken slightly while cooling. Serve warm.
My inspiration to share this particular recipe came from some recent Facebook challenges over at The Chopping Block’s private Facebook group. This week is all about pumpkin! Please join us and check it out.