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.
Honey Baked Ham (diced)
Butternut Squash (diced)
Apple (peeled and diced)
2 Shallots or 1 Onion (diced)
Garlic Cloves (minced)
Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 tsp + more to taste
1/2 tsp + more to taste
Parmesan Cheese (grated)
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)
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.