A member of the winter squash family, butternut squash is the perfect complement to the sweetness of dried figs. In addition, squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.
This recipe serves: 4
2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 dried figs, stems removed, quartered and diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely diced butternut squash
1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white vermouth, plus a splash to finish
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Thyme and rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 of the chicken broth with the figs and bring to a simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand until the figs are plump and tender, about 5 minutes.
2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the figs to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining broth to the pan and bring just to a simmer; keep warm over very low heat.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium nonreactive saucepan, heat one tablespoon of the butter and the oil over medium heat.
4. Add the onion, carrots, squash, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
5. Add the rice and cook until it is coated with oil and begins to crackle a little, about 3 minutes; it should be quite aromatic.
6. Add the vermouth and allow it to sizzle until evaporated.
7. Begin adding the remaining chicken broth approximately 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding another. Continue cooking until the broth is incorporated and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
8. To finish the risotto, stir in the plumped figs, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the Parmigiano, and a splash of vermouth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
9. Spoon the risotto onto serving plates and garnish with thyme and rosemary, if desired.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Number of Servings: 4