If you follow along with Grace in the Crumbs on Instagram, you may have read about my most recent trip to Whole Foods. Not one of my better parenting moments. I was headed to the store to get the ingredients for this roasted delicata squash risotto. But as it turned out, I left with a lot more than just onions, rice and a few gourds.
I’m usually pretty good at keeping calm with my little ones. After all, I’ve had almost ten years of practice, and this certainly wasn’t my first trip to the grocery store with kids.
In fact, I can remember when Frankie was just a newborn, and I had to run to the store with all four kids. I’d put Frankie’s big bucket car seat in the back of the shopping cart, Sloan would ride in the front seat, and the other two would walk. We could only buy as much as Asher and Lillian could carry, or that we could set on top of Frankie without squishing him 😉 Mom’s are the ultimate at making it work. And you know what? We did! It was the ultimate game of Tetris (one that we crushed, of course ;).
So one would think that taking two toddlers to the store would feel like a piece of cake. But I gotta tell you, it wasn’t. And for no particular reason. It was just a combination of lots of little things, and this momma snapped.
Sloan and Frankie were crying at my feet, refusing to ride in the cart, refusing to be held, refusing to be consoled. And instead of making the smart decision to just leave the store – I pushed ahead, thinking that getting squash for my risotto was somehow more important then comforting my little guys. In hindsight, I know I made the wrong choice in that moment.
Instead, I pushed our cart ahead, becoming increasingly frustrated with the kids and snapped at them in a way I don’t normally do. And not just a little. I lost it right there in the produce section, yelling at my two little peanuts. By the time we left the store, we were all in tears. And all for a few onions and delicata squash.
Later that afternoon, as I tucked my little guys in for a nap, I asked them both for forgiveness. Of course their sweet little souls only needed a few cuddles and kisses to let the morning’s events go. And as for me…well I did the same. I let the mornings events go too.
I messed up. I made a poor judgement call, was short tempered, and focused on the wrong priorities. But I turned it around. That’s the beauty of making mistakes. We can fix them. Luckily for me, it only took a few cuddles with my little guys to turn our day around. But it was a good reminder to be gentle on myself. To give myself forgiveness when I’m asking others to do the same. True self forgiveness is one of the most freeing things we can do.
Ok, so back to the whole reason I was at the grocery store to begin with; this ridiculously delicious roasted delicata squash risotto.
Risotto was one of the very first dishes I ever cooked, and it’s still a favorite of mine today. It’s everything I love about food. A few simple ingredients transformed into something magical with nothing more than care and love. And let’s be honest, risotto is one of those dishes that needs a lot of love (and by “love”, what I really mean is stirring, and only with a wooden spoon ;).
I’ve made many risottos over the years, but this one has to be my new favorite. I added a ton of pumpkin into the creamy rice and then topped it all with sweet caramelized roasted delicata squash.
If you aren’t familiar with delicata squash, don’t worry, I wasn’t either until we enjoyed it a few weeks at IL Mulino Prime in New York (one of our favorite spots). Think of it like butternut squash, only better. For a few reasons, it’s easier to work with, tender and smaller, and unlike butternut squash the skin is edible. So you can honestly just slice it, and roast away. It has all the deep earthy sweet flavors you’d expect from a squash, but only still tender and “delicate”. It’s my new fall favorite food. So of course I had to add it to this risotto.
The whole dish is then topped with a generous amount of gruyere cheese, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of my favorite olive oil (because olive oil literally makes everything taste good).
- 2 delicata squash, cut in half, seeds removed, and then sliced into ½" thick "half moons"
- 2 cups of arborio rice
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 3½ cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of shredded gruyere cheese
- ½ cup of toasted walnuts
- micro-greens and olive oil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper add the sliced delicata squash. Drizzle with olive oil/sat/pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, Check squash, and flip/rotate as necessary. Continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes, or until the squash is golden brown and tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, prep the risotto.
- In a large dutch oven, add the olive oil, butter, and onions. Sweat the onions over medium/low heat for 3-5 minutes (don't let them brown).
- Add the garlic and arborio rice. Stir to ensure the rice is completely coated with the butter/olive oil. Allow rice to toast for 1-2 minutes.
- Add white wine. Stir. Wait 3-5 minutes for all of the wine to be absorbed.
- Then working in 1 cup increments, begin to add the stock (chicken or vegetable) allowing the rice to absorb all of the liquid before adding more.
- (you may need to add a little more/less than the 3½ cups of stock.....I like my risotto really creamy, so feel free to add a little more if it feels too al dente)
- Then add the cup of pumpkin puree, a generous amount of salt/pepper, and the shredded gruyere cheese.
- Stir to combine. Taste. Add more salt/pepper as necessary
- Top with risotto with the slices of roasted squash, toasted walnuts and finish with a few micro-greens and a drizzle of olive oil