how to use up leftover wine

isnt leftover wine kinda dumb? sounds like leftover cash to me, which is clearly pointless...

but i digress (wow - a tangent before i even started. that may be a new record...)

i have this lovely friend Erika. she lives in alabama. we've never met in real life, but i still consider her a friend. even moreso for sharing the recipe i'm about to share with you...



Erika has a tradition. each year, she celebrates the first day of fall with butternut squash risotto... (is it actually called 'fall' in alabama or is it just called 'less summer'???) but its not like any other butternut squash risotto you've ever seen before - cause its SO MUCH BETTER... infact, very recently, one of the food blogs i (and a million others) regularly read posted a butternut squash risotto recipe... and i read it and turned my nose straight up in the air. it was just so blah in comparison...


there isnt much to say about this recipe that doesnt speak for itself when you read the ingredients, but the thing that speaks volumes about it is something i didnt even realize until a few days ago... you see, when i find a recipe i want to make, i generally email it to myself and slap a fancy little google label called 'recipe' on it so that i can find it later on... most of the time, i end up printing out the email and taking it to the store to shop or go home and make it that night, which means i rarely use that whole search thing that i set up... however, the other night, i sat down to put this post together and wanted to take the 'copy and paste' shortcut, so i ran that search. and it seems that i have emailed this recipe to myself not once, not twice, but three times... Erika must have posted it last September also... (and my spaciness must have made me send it to myself twice one of those septembers...)

i only made one real modification to Erika's original recipe, and that was to add some wine. because i REFUSE to let wine go to waste. and cause i really wondered what would happen if i rebelled and used red wine in risotto instead of the more standard white...

i'm just a nut like that ;)


Scarlett's Butternut Squash Risotto
food: Courtesy of Erika in Alabama
wine: Courtesy of me

4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup arborio rice

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup spicy red wine (i used a tempranillo blend from Verdad).

8 large sage leaves, chopped
2 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

1. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low (stock should barely be simmering)

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-high flame, heat the olive oil. Add the onion & garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the rice; stir until well-coated, about 1 minute.

4. Add the squash, and cranberries and continue to stir another 30 seconds.

5. Add the wine. With a wooden spoon, stir until almost all of the wine is absorbed.

6. Lower the heat to medium and add 1/2 cup of hot stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed but the rice isn't sticking to the pan. Continue repeating this step until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

7. Just before the final liquid is absorbed, add the sage and butter.

8. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

9. Place risotto in a serving bowl and top with Gorgonzola and pecans.

Makes 4 servings.


Critics' Pick Admin said...

Ha! Really, our seasons are warm, hot, hellish, and hot again. But I'm a Yankee by birth, so I still stick with the traditional seasons.

I never thought to put the wine IN the risotto. Good call.

roopa said...

I am unfamiliar with this concept of "leftover wine" but I will consider opening a bottle for this risotto. I usually use white wine, so let's see how it tastes with red. Good, I'm assuming.

But I will not be adding gorgonzola cheese because I hate it, except when it's in a salad with pears and walnuts. I'm a weirdo, I know.

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