summer squash risotto with crispy fried sage and parmesan

Oh, what to do with loads and loads of summer squash. I have had a pretty steady supply of patty pan squash, yellow summer squash, and zucchini from Farmer John. There’s only so much zucchini bread you can make (although I think we’re making a couple more loaves tonight). I came across this recipe from Tyler Florence’s Dinner at My Place – a cookbook with lots of great recipes. When I saw how much squash it used up, I knew this was a recipe for us. The thing is, though, I don’t really like risotto. I’ve made it a couple times and haven’t ever liked it. I’ve eaten other people’s risotto and haven’t ever liked it. As I was stirring the big pot of rice in my dutch oven last night, I kept thinking to myself: Self, why are you making this? This is a lot of risotto and you don’t like risotto. And you’ve got a lot of squash roasting in the oven right now. Do you even like roasted squash? Is anyone going to like this meal? Will the kids eat any of it?

Yep, I was thinking all of those things in a super hot kitchen, cooking a meal I thought I was sure to not like. The thing is, I actually *did* like it. And I think everyone else did. Ava asked for more cheesy rice and “stuff on top.” That was good, considering when we put the plate in front of her, she did not want anything to do with it. Jack didn’t eat any of the risotto, but he did eat a lot of broccoli.

I’ve decided risotto is a food with complicated flavors. You just have to be able to appreciate them. The crispy sage on top is a must. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. The roasted squash was sweet and caramelized a bit. And the risotto was smooth with the tastes of wine and cheese. We also ate the broccoli from yesterday’s CSA share. All in all, a good meal, especially if you want to get rid of a *lot* of squash.


tyler florence’s summer squash risotto with crispy fried sage and parmesan

  • 4 summer squash
  • 4 zucchini
  • 6 pattypan squash
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh sage sprigs, leaves only
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 750-milliliter bottle dry white wine
  • 2 quarts reduced sodium vegetable broth (I ended up using only about 1 1/2 quarts)
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into thirds
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut squash, zucchini, and pattypan squash into circles and slice onion. Set out on a roasting tray and scatter with thyme leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. (and this is where I need to add in my own note: what? 15-20 minutes? I had to roast the squash for at least 40 minutes. Maybe if the oven were hotter? But definitely longer than 15-20 minutes. I guess let your nose guide you. This is something I have had to learn about cooking. So much can be learned by just smelling and tasting. Funny I had to learn that).

While the vegetables roast, start the risotto. Set a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat. Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the pot and fry the sage leaves until they are crispy and crackly. Drain the leaves on paper towels and set aside. Add onion to the pot and sauté until fragrant and slightly translucent. Add rice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat as you stir with a wooden spoon. Add the wine; cook until mostly evaporated. Begin adding the vegetable broth, a little at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the broth each time before adding more. Continue doing this until the rice is tender but still has a little bite. To finish, add butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and top with the roasted squash and sage leaves.

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One response to “summer squash risotto with crispy fried sage and parmesan

  1. This recipe makes me wish it were still summer! It sounds like something I would LOVE. Thanks for sharing.

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