We are so excited to bring you this amazing recipe of roasted emmer and winter squash risotto! Emmer whole grains are used which delivers a ton of healthy nutrition while adding to the taste and complex flavors of this risotto.
This side dish has it all…..texture from the tender grains, sweetness from the cubes of squash, smokey bacon and then the lovely creaminess from the crème fraîche and cheese. Plus, the ever-so-slight flavors of fresh sage and seasonings.
What is Risotto?
Risotto is an Italian specialty that is enjoyed worldwide and it is typically made with a short-grained, starchy white rice that is cooked to a soft, creamy texture.
The name ‘risotto’ comes from the Italian name for rice. Whole grains make excellent risotto-like dishes and with such a variety of grains available can inspire great creativity in the kitchen. We recently posted our Farro, Mushroom and Leek Risotto that is an amazing side dish.
Where to Buy Emmer Whole Grain:
In our recipe we use the ancient emmer whole grain, (also known as farro) that is grown at the Bluebird Grain Farm in the Eastern part of Washington State
- Bulk-foods section
- Trader Joe’s
- Bob’s Red Mill packages
- You can also purchase it online
To make this delightful side dish the emmer grain is pan-roasted to a light toastiness and then slowly cooked with beef broth, absorbing the rich liquid until it reaches a soft, slight chewiness. You will be loving the texture and flavor of this grain.
About Red Kuri Squash in Our Roasted Emmer and Winter Squash Risotto:
We used a Red Kuri squash in this side dish but any winter squash will work for this recipe. Red Kuri is a variety of the Hubbard squash and it has a buttery flesh with a savory chestnut-like flavor.
How to Make our Red Kuri Squash in Our Roasted Emmer and Winter Squash Risotto:
The squash is cooked together with smokey bacon, garlic, shallots, seasonings and chopped fresh sage leaves. It is then combined with the cooked grain, crème fraîche and olive oil. Fontina cheese is mixed in creating a rich, creamy goodness.
Crème fraîche is a thick French style cream found in the dairy case of select grocery stores. It is a bit pricey but you can make your own by combining two cups of heavy cream and two or three tablespoons of plain full-fat yogurt together in a bowl or jar.
Cover with a piece of cheesecloth let it sit on the countertop for 12 to 24 hours. It will thicken up and become a little tangy and it tastes just as good as the expensive brands.
Finally, we dropped fresh sage leaves in hot oil and as they sizzled, sputtered and spit they began to brown slightly and turn crispy. When cooled and salted we crumbled part of the sage leaves over the finished dish with whole leaves added as a garnish.
Have you made this recipe? Tag us on Instagram!
Recipes using ancient grains:
- Farro Breakfast Risotto with Poached Egg,
- Roasted Chicken and Barley Salad
- Kamut Grain Bowl with Roasted Chicken Curry Sauce
For the Squash:
For the Emmer Risotto:
For the Garnish:
For the Fried Sage Leaves:
Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 258 Total Fat 54g Saturated Fat 25g Trans Fat 1g Unsaturated Fat 25g Cholesterol 201mg Sodium 722mg Carbohydrates 24g Fiber 4g Sugar 10g Protein 19g