Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Duck and butternut squash risotto with sage and pomegranate

Make-ahead tip: Prepare as directed in the first three sentences of the recipe, then add the wine and a little broth. After liquid is absorbed, transfer rice to a sheet tray and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. When you're ready to serve, transfer rice to a pot, cover with broth and continue with the recipe. The rice will cook in a fraction of the time.

Chef John Paolone
Café Firenze, Moorpark

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3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 shallot, finely diced
Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 to 2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup shredded duck confit (see note)
1/2 cup roasted and smashed butternut squash
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
10 sage leaves, fried crispy


In a medium-sized pot, add 1 tbsp. butter, shallot and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until shallot starts to brown. Stir in rice and cook another 2 to 3 minutes to toast. Add wine to deglaze and reduce until moisture is almost gone. Pour in enough broth to barely cover. Reduce heat to low and stir every few minutes, adding more broth if needed. Cook until rice is 95 percent done. Add duck and squash, and season to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and remaining 2 tbsp. butter and reduce until creamy. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with pomegranate seeds, sage and a little more cheese.

Note: A specialty of Gascony, France, duck confit is prepared by curing the meat with salt and then cooking it in its own fat. You may make your own or purchase it online or at a specialty store.

Serves 2

Photo: © 2017 Tony Pinto

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