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Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto

check out those vanilla beans!

You all know I purchased Giada De Laurentiis’ new cookbook “Giada’s Kitchen” in order to attend the signing event. Well, the book is actually really nice. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes are inventive. The first recipe we decided to make was the “Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto” (we used acorn squash). Mike “the king of risotto” was intrigued by the use of vanilla in the stock*. I was super surprised to find out a single vanilla bean was $12 ($8 on sale)!!! The dish turned out fabulous. The vanilla was not at all overpowering. It just sits in the background adding a bit of sweetness. The modifications we made to the recipe included using 1.5 cups of wine (a santa lucia highlands chardonnay worked perfectly) and we puréed some of the squash and added it in along with the chunks. I would suggest serving this as a side or starter since it is a bit heavy.

Recipe:Buy the book or grab the recipe from Serious Eats.

*this was the subject of Mike’s chit chat session with Giada.🙄

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