Main Courses

Fall Risotto with Squash, Apple and Ham

This dish is a celebration of Fall flavors. The saltiness of the ham pairs perfectly with the semi-sweet apple and squash. The toasted pecans and goat cheese take it to the next level. Enjoy it as a perfect holiday side dish or a main course.

Prep

20 Minutes

Cook

30-40 Minutes

Serves

6

Ingredients

Arborio Rice

1 CUP

Honey Baked Ham (diced)

1.5 CUP

Butternut Squash (diced)

2.5 CUP

Apple (peeled and diced)

1

2 Shallots or 1 Onion (diced)

Garlic Cloves (minced)

2

Dried Sage

1 tsp

Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 tsp

Olive Oil

1 TBL

Butter

2 TBL

Salt

3/4 tsp + more to taste

Black Pepper

1/2 tsp + more to taste

Lemon

1/2

Parmesan Cheese (grated)

1/2 CUP

Vegetable Stock

1 Quart

Goat Cheese (crumbled, for garnish)

1/4 to 1/2 CUP

Pecans (toasted, for garnish)

1/4 to 1/2 CUP

Fried Sage Leaves (for garnish)

8-12

Preparation

Begin by warming the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot.

Once butter is hot, add butternut squash and a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the squash is just beginning to soften, paying special attention to not overcook the squash as it will be cooking in the pot for the entirety of the recipe and you do not want it to turn into mush.

In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. This can be done while you cook the risotto or before. Once oil is hot, saute ham for 4-5 minutes or until ham begins to darken in color. Using a slotted spoon, remove ham from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel.

Moving back to the pot with the butternut squash, add the shallots, garlic, apple, red pepper flakes, dried sage and another pinch of salt. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the rice. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add 1 Cup of the stock and stir everything together. Bring the contents of the pot to a simmer. Stir the contents of the pot every minute or so until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. This will take 3-4 minutes. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add another ½ Cup of the stock to the pot. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed and repeat. Repeat this process 5-6 times or until all of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. The process should take 25-30 minutes. Remove risotto from the heat.

Stir in the parmesan cheese, fried ham and lemon juice. Add salt, pepper and more lemon juice to taste.

Plate and garnish with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pecan pieces and fried sage leaves.

Serve immediately!