Off to Italy today! We are always looking for quick and nutritious side dishes to go with meat or even sometimes use these as a main dish. Today I am tasting the Trader Joe’s Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto.
This has been around for a while in the freezer section and Becky was out at book club one night and I needed something to go with the Trader Joe’s Marinated Pork Loin I picked up. I thought risotto would be a perfect match for that!
What you have here is a bag of rice and veggies and a inner bag of sauce. You are supposed to heat up a skillet and some water and then put the sauce in the skillet and look it for a bit until it thickens up and then dump the rice in there and cook for a bit. Well, I’m here to tell you I almost lost a finger trying to cut a frozen bag of sauce. First I used a knife to cut a hole in the top of the outer bag and the whole thing tore open and I almost lost all the rice on the floor but I was able recover and only a few grains fell out. Then I pulled the inner sauce bag out and while cutting it open with a knife (holding bag in one hand and knife in the other) the bag slipped because it is frozen solid and slippery, and zip I barely nicked my hand with a very sharp knife! Then I tried to squeeze the sauce out of the bag into the pan and it wasn’t coming out. Popped it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to loosen it up and then I could get on with the cooking. Very frustrating, but it happens sometimes!
I make a lot of Risotto from scratch around here. Becky loves it and while tedious, it’s really not that hard to make if you’ve got the right rice. Trader Joe’s has a great Risotto rice that I use from scratch. I’m always dumping in seasonal ingredients like salmon, peas, chicken, kale, whatever you have on hand! I really love this book by Judith Barrett called simply Risotto. It’s a timeless classic!
I cooked the sauce as recommended and then dumped in the rice and stuff. It takes a few minutes to have the rice cook and everything come together
You’ve got to stir it frequently and after a while it comes together. I think it was about 12 minutes. I plated it and tasted it. I was pretty good! I wouldn’t say this is a traditional Risotto by any means, but it pretty tasty. If I was nitpicking I would say it’s a little bit too curry flavored and the rice was mushy and not as firm as I like. The squash was just about right in this dish. Not too firm or mushy. The curry works well with the squash so like I said, good flavors not traditional. Something I would probably buy again and this time I would open the bags differently!
I am going to rate this Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Risotto 7 bells!