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Vandal Gold Acorn Squash Risotto

By Marissa Lucas, Kevin Blume and Ashley Ewing

Vandal Gold Acorn Squash RisottoShow your Vandal pride not just by waving banners of silver and gold, but by savoring the autumn flavors of Vandal Gold Acorn Squash Risotto. The golden hue of the acorn squash paired with the nutty flavors of walnuts and fresh nutmeg make this a meal fit for Akey’s Army. This is a spirited dish with bold flavors and striking colors. Oven-roasted acorn squash adds a creamy, wholesome flavor to the tender Arborio rice, while crunchy walnuts and crisp asparagus spears award bold textures. As family and friends gather for the Thanksgiving season, triumph over the standard holiday fare and serve this risotto fit for a Vandal.

Yield: 6 portions (¾ c each)
Oven: 350⁰ F
Bake: 25 – 35 minutes

1/2 white onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1 c blanched asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 c Arborio rice
1 1/2 lb squash
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c walnuts (coarsely chopped)
3 c vegetable stock
pinch of nutmeg
1 c parmesan cheese

Wash and halve squash, remove seeds, place in a glass baking dish with 1/4 inch water, bake for 25 – 35 minutes. When squash is tender, dice into 1/2 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in large stove pot on medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion, stir until translucent. Add rice to garlic and onion mixture, stir for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup heated vegetable broth to mixture and stir until absorbed. Continue adding heated vegetable broth until liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy and tender, about 30 minutes, keeping heat at medium-low. When adding the last 1/2 cup of broth, add diced butternut squash. Continue to cook until rice and squash are tender and creamy. Remove pot from heat, add asparagus, walnuts, nutmeg and parmesan cheese, stir to combine. Serve immediately.