Butternut and Sage Risotto | Cary Downtown Farmers Market

Butternut and Sage Risotto

Chef’s Corner

by Mitch Samples

Though it takes a little bit of time to make, risotto is surprisingly easy to prepare and a great gluten-free meal for a chilly Autumn day.  Here is a recipe bursting with fall flavors and local goodness.  Traditionally made with parmesan and butter, we’ll be using fresh Chevre in place of the parm and skipping the butter.


Saturday’s Market hours are 8 to noon, the Chef’s Corner demo will start at 9 am to show you how to make this special seasonal dish.  Samples to follow.  Come on down and see us!


CDFM Butternut and Sage Risotto                                                                                                    

½ C Diced Onion or Shallot

2 Tbs Olive Oil

1 ½ C Arborio Rice

2 Tbs chopped fresh sage

½ C dry white wine, like Chablis or Pinot Grigio

1 Butternut Squash, small dice, about 2 pounds.  We got ours from Parker Farm and Vineyard

6-8 C Stock of choice, hot

1 C Chevre, we are using Paradox Farm’s Cheese Louise today!

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



  • Get your mise en place in order by having all ingredients prepped and ready to go before you even touch your pan.
  • Heat your stock in a saucepan on the stove until it is simmering.
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, reduce heat to medium then add the diced onions.
  • Sauté the onions with a pinch or 2 of salt for 2-3 minutes until translucent but not browned. This is referred to as sweating.
  • Turn pan up to Medium-High, add the rice and stir so every grain is coated with oil. Add the sage, and squash and continue cooking while stirring for a minute or two longer until the rice begins to look slightly translucent.
  • Add 2 cups of the hot stock, continue cooking while stirring until it comes to a simmer.
  • Keeping the pan at a simmer, continue stirring. Continue adding hot stock as the rice absorbs the liquid and thickens.
  • Cook and stir until the rice grains are al Dente and the dish itself is creamy.
  • Stir in the cheese, last of the olive oil, and season to taste.

Additions and alterations:

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • If you don’t like goat cheese use 1 C of grated Parmesan and 6 Tbs butter instead
  • If you want to add some bacon or pancetta, dice about 4-6 oz, sauté until crispy reserve bacon and fry the onions in 2 Tbs of bacon fat instead of Olive Oil (steps 3 and 4), stir the crispy bacon back in at the end.



Email questions to mtsamples@gmail.com

Open Saturdays | April-Oct: 9a.m. - Noon | Nov-Mar: 9a.m. - Noon | 135 W. Chatham St., Cary, NC