Butternut Squash, Chard Risotto, anyone want to buy a house?

This was the last hurrah from the garden.

Well, I still have a lot of butternut and spaghetti squashes in the cave, but this was the last (or one of the last) pickings of chard. It is now becoming compost for next year. I hope.

Since I used rainbow chard, and this year had more red than usual, this risotto ended up looking rather pink.

Why not?

When I make it again next year maybe I’ll use red wine…..

You could use spinach, fresh or frozen, in place of the chard.

Butternut Squash, Chard Risotto

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5oz (150gr) chard, sliced
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • Condimenti:
  • 6oz (180gr) ham, cut into cubes
  • 6oz (180gr) butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Butternut Squash, Chard Risotto


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter; add 1/2 of the onion and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When rice has almost absorbed all the wine add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • After adding most of the stock add the chard and stir well.
  • Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it a few tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate.
  • Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.  It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.
  • Condimenti:
  • Heat olive oil in medium skillet.  Add other 1/2 onion and sauté until tender.
  • Add ham, butternut squash and sauté until starting to brown
  • Reduce heat, cover and cook until squash is tender.
  • Keep warm until needed.

Print Recipe

I had a bizarre phone call the other day.

I rarely get phone calls in French – other then telemarketers and I hang up on them before they answer. When I do get a phone call in French it’s about something specific, like changing a dental appointment or the date of conversation.

Those phone calls would normally start by confirming who I am and identifying themselves – standard business phone call.

This one was different……

It started out with her saying she was from the village….. She probably said her name but I didn’t know it  or didn’t hear it.

Then she said something about an ‘apero’ or drinks.

While I was trying to figure out if she was telling me that she had talked to me over drinks (like at the village lunch) or was inviting me for drinks she had moved on and was telling me that her husband was dead.

At which point I asked her to slow down and repeat what she had said because I didn’t understand her.

She laughed and continued to talk.

When I actually understood what she was saying I tried to be helpful by saying: ‘I understand’.

It didn’t occur to me until later that she probably didn’t realize I was saying that I literally understood what she said but rather she thought I was commiserating with her – you know:  ‘there, there, I understand what you must be going through’. She just kept talking.

I finally connected all the dots and realized that her husband had died sometime in the past (as opposed to that morning). I assume the distant past as she was exceedingly cheerful and laughed a lot.

She had decided that she needed to sell her house and wanted to know if I had any English friends who might want to buy it. At that point I realized she probably thought I was my neighbor….  There aren’t that many people in our little village, and if you look in the phone book I have the most ‘English’ name. The French tend to think all the English are rich so surely I knew someone who would buy her house.

Having lost what little capacity I have to converse intelligently in French by this point I didn’t try to explain what must have been a mistake on her part… Which would have been rude of me, in any case.

I asked for her phone number and told her I would call if any of my friends were interested.

Anyone want to buy a house?

Last update on December 1, 2016

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