Butternut Squash Risotto With Apple Sage Chutney
Fratello’s Italian Grille and the Homestead's Chef Adam Parker shares his recipe for this delicious fall dish
The taste of fall is upon us. Say goodbye to sweet corn and give a warm embrace to a variety of apples and squash stacking high at local fruit stands and farmers markets.
Makes 4 or 5 servings
Apple Sage Chutney
4 peeled and diced Fuji apples, rough chop
1 cup red onion, diced fine
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more or less to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast chopped apples in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Tip: Roast with the squash using the method in the risotto recipe.*
Sauté the onion in butter until soft, add roasted apples, vinegar and honey and stir and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the minced sage and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. This can be served hot or at room temperature. Any extra can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 small butternut squash, peeled and sliced into ½-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (Chef Adam suggests Conundrum white.)
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth, heated
1 cup water
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh or fried sage leaves for garnish**
*To roast the squash: Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for the butternut squash. (For the chutney recipe, add apples as well, keeping them separate.) Toss the apples and squash with olive oil and bake squash for 20 minutes and apples 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large 10-12-inch straight-sided skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add rice and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until grains are coated in oil and onion.
Add wine and stir constantly on medium heat until wine is absorbed.
Add hot broth or hot water 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. The risotto should be creamy, adding more liquid, if necessary. Stir in roasted squash and spinach until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and stir in pieces of butter and Parmesan cheese and serve on warm plates to keep the risotto loose. (Too much cheese can make it gummy.)
Add the apple chutney as a garnish. Top with fresh or fried sage.
**To fry the sage: Sauté 6 to 8 fresh whole sage leaves with olive oil until crisp. Crumble or leave whole to use as a garnish on the risotto.
Chef Adam Parker, formerly director of restaurants at Fratello’s Italian Grille and the Homestead, has gone on to run his own cozy family-run operation. His vision for the newly opened The Utopian features a tapas-style “farmhouse artisan” menu. Dishes are served on disposable plates lined with craft paper and are easily shared. The menu will change with the seasons, but expect to find items like meatballs, a charcuterie plate, baked brie and hummus, all which can be enjoyed with local craft beers, wine or even a martini.
Parker explains the offerings are “different from what you might expect.” His kitchen is small but only limited to his imagination. With his love of Italian food and Italy, an Italian influence would not be surprising.
Parker also has a line of hot sauces now available in 50 stores across New Hampshire and Vermont. Flavors include Hunka Hunka Burning Maple and Hot Frog Slime. Learn more at nhhotsauce.com.
MC Square, 135 Route 101A, Amherst
(603) 315-9197 / theutopiannh.com