Growing Chefs! Ontario Creamy Squash and Bacon Risotto

Creamy Squash and Bacon Risotto

You need to pay a lot of attention to the pan while cooking risotto, but once you have mastered the method you can make any other risotto you can dream of using other ingredients. Squash and bacon pair especially well together!
Serves 4-6
1/2 cup butter, cubed1/2 bunch green onions, chopped with green and white separated1 cup squash, small dice1/4 pound bacon, diced2 cups arborio rice2 litres vegetable stock1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated6 sage leaves, minced1 sprig thyme, minced1/2 lemon, juiced Pepper to taste Salt to taste Olive oil
Large frying pan, or shallow potMedium potWooden spoonMeasuring cupsMeasuring spoonsLadleSlotted spoonBowlsCutting boardChef’s knifeScissorsPeelerDish towelTasting spoons

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Dice butter into 1 cm cubes.

Cut green onions very finely, keeping the root end (white parts) and the greens of the onion separate.

Peel squash, and dice into 1 cm cubes.

Grate parmesan cheese.

Remove sage leaves from stem and chop finely.

Remove thyme leaves from stem and chop finely.

Cut lemon in half and juice lemon, making sure you do not leave any seeds.

Cut bacon into small pieces.

Measure vegetable stock into pot and heat over medium heat until simmering.

Get Cooking!

Add the squash to your simmering vegetable stock, and let cook until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium and cook bacon in frying pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.

Check to see if the squash is cooked. If just starting to soften, remove from the stock.

In the remaining bacon fat, sweat down the white part of green onions and herbs until softened.

Add in the risotto rice and stir until coated in fat and translucent.

Add a ladle of stock to the pan, and when bubbling, scrape the bottom of the pan to lift the fond. Add a second ladle of stock, and make sure all the rice is under the liquid. Bring to a low simmer.

As the stock is absorbed, continue adding about a ladleful of hot stock at a time, stirring once each time.

Keep adding stock until rice is al dente (just about cooked). Add one more addition of stock and cook until absorbed.

When stock is almost absorbed, stir through the butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and squash. Season to taste and add the bacon. Add more stock if necessary. Top with green onion, parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.