At the last CSA pickup for Stearns Farm, we received a kabocha squash. It’s orange just like a sugar pumpkin, but it’s much smaller. The sign said to roast with butter and sugar, but weeks went by and it just sat on my counter. One day my brother told me that he had made a butternut squash risotto, and I figured that making a kabocha risotto wasn’t that different. I checked Google to see if anyone else had tried it, and then I got to work making a recipe.
It tasted great. I love a good risotto, especially with crispy sage leaves. The only thing to note with using kabocha squash is that the bright orange of the squash translates to very orange risotto (butternut squash won’t affect the color of the dish). So if the color doesn’t bother you but instead makes you laugh like I did when I saw it, then try this recipe! A lot of people are intimidated by making risotto, but this recipe only took me about 40 minutes. It’s very simple to follow and only has a few ingredients.
Kabocha (Sunshine) Squash Risotto
Makes 4 servings
Total time: 40 minutes
In My Basket
1 small Kabocha squash (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
1 medium Yellow Onion (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
One handful of fresh sage (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
From the Pantry
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
1 cup arborio rice
3 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°. Wash and dry squash, then halve and place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp melted butter, season with salt and pepper to taste. Flip halves and coat the other side. Roast, cut sides down, 27-29 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- While squash roasts, small dice onion and remove stems from the sage. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add sage, cook 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side until dark green and crispy. Reserving oil in the pot, transfer sage to a cutting board and immediately salt and pepper to taste.
- Add onion to the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 – 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add rice to the pot, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
- Add water to the pot, and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, stirring frequently, and let simmer 13 – 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and membranes, discard. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a cutting board. Roughly chop and add to the pot of rice once most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir to combine and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp butter and cheese. Stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Divide into bowls, and serve with roasted veggies or bread and olive oil. Enjoy!
Alice Kathryn Richardson is a new media photojournalist and creator of The Clean Food Club. She previously spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short-form documentaries exploring food access and hunger in Washington, DC. She is committed to supporting local and sustainable food businesses by telling their stories with photo and video. Follow her on Twitter @AKR_Pictures.