Squash Risotto from Balanza Vineyard & Guest House

Thanks to the Balanza family for sharing one of their favorite recipes. This risotto is cozy without being heavy and perfectly bridges the winter to spring seasons. They recommend enjoying it alongside a Dundee Hills Chardonnay so you can see how the slight crispness and pretty fruit balances the creamy richness of the dish.

Recipe credit: Balanza Vineyard & Guest House


  • 1 medium (or 2 small) squashes
  • 4-6 slices of good quality center cut bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Saffron Threads
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • An herbed salt


  • Peel squash and cut into 1 inch or smaller cubes. Toss with olive oil and roast at 400 F until soft. Season with an herbed salt (or traditional salt, if you prefer).
  • Cut bacon into small strips and cook gently in a medium saucepan until lightly brown (not crisp). Drain and set aside. 
  • Remove bacon fat from the saucepan and add a splash of olive oil.
  • In a separate pan, warm the broth and set aside.
  • Add Arborio rice to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until the rice is opaque.
  • Over low to medium heat, add white wine and cook until absorbed (stirring constantly).
  • Begin adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed.
  • When you are half way through the broth, add a few saffron threads 1/2 tsp (or to your liking) and add the bacon.
  • Keep adding broth stirring until absorbed. When the broth is gone, taste the risotto to determine if a longer cooking time is needed, and then add more broth. 
  • Once the risotto is finished cooking, stir in the Parmesan, roasted squash and chopped fresh parsley.   
  • Keep it on the heat a moment longer to rewarm the squash and melt the parmesan.
  • Serve alongside a glass of Dundee Hills Chardonnay! 

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