Kabocha Squash Risotto with Tarragon and Leeks

Risotto is the ultimate fall comfort food – and come this time in Seattle, fall is knocking at the door. This dish even LOOKS like the bounty of fall – rich oranges, greens and browns.

Risotta Ingredients
Risotto Ingredients

Cut a medium-sized kabocha squash in half. Set aside one of the halves. Quarter the other half, then peel with a potato peeler and cut into 1″ chunks.

Sunrise in a Kabocha Squash
Sunrise in a Kabocha Squash

Heat 48 ounces (6 cups) of chicken stock over medium-low heat in a nearby pot. Then turn off the heat.

Slice the whites of two leeks into thin rounds. Saute the whites over medium to medium-high heat, in 2 tablespoons butter, in a large skillet or enameled cast iron dutch oven, until translucent.

Saute the leeks until translucent
Saute the leeks until translucent

Once the leeks are translucent, add 1 1/2 cups arborio rice. Continue to stir and saute. Stir until the rice starts to turn translucent, but before it starts to brown.

Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine. Continue to stir. Turn the heat to medium-low. Once the wine cooks off, start adding warm chicken stock in 1 cup increments.

Add 3/4 cup dry white wine
Add 3/4 cup dry white wine

As it cooks down, don’t let the broth cook completely dry. Each time, add another cup of warmed broth (about every four minutes).

At about the twelve minute marker, add your cubed kabocha squash and a little more than another cup of the broth. Turn the heat up to cook the squash more. This will cook for another thirty or so minutes. Stir from time to time so nothing sticks or burns.

Nearly risotto
Nearly risotto

Chop the leaves from two sprigs of fresh tarragon and sprinkle on top. Continue cooking until the rice is soft.

Add chopped tarragon
Add chopped tarragon

Turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Top with chopped tarragon and grated parmesan cheese, if you’d like. Lovely enjoyed with pan-seared king salmon.

Kabocha Risotta with Tarragon and Leeks
Kabocha Risotto with Tarragon and Leeks


  • 1/2 of a medium kabocha squash
  • 2 leeks – slice the whites
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (we used a french sauvignon blanc, which is also lovely for drinking whilst stirring)
  • 48 ounces chicken stock (warmed)
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • two sprigs fresh
  • (chopped leaves)

Published by

Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

12 thoughts on “Kabocha Squash Risotto with Tarragon and Leeks”

  1. The pale yellow flesh of the squash is a surprising contrast to its orange skin. Lovely! The risotto looks so comforting and warming … perfect for the cold rainy day outside my window now.

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