a farm tour + butternut squash risotto.

a farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.com

So, as it turns out: I’m not super woman after all.

It’s been a month since my last blog update, and the lack of posts have been nagging at my subconscious.

But I’m not the type to post random stuff for the sake of it. I work from inspiration so that I can pass it on to you. However, sometimes, ‘other things’ take over and it can be tricky to find a balance. I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of life stuff, work, wrangling kids, and sadly still grieving the passing of someone very close to my heart.

In addition, I’ve been working on an exciting new project (more details soon!) that has pretty much consumed my thoughts and creativity.

But for now, I’ve come up for air.


How are you all doing?!

a farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.com

Last weekend, I hosted a cooking demo at Golden Earthworm Organic Farm.

I’ve talked about this beautiful place many times before. We go strawberry picking in the springtime, and enjoy weekly deliveries of their farm fresh produce.

Live demos are always a little nerve wracking. This year, knowing a little bit more of what to expect, everything was packed the night before, with my box of supplies, notes and cookbooks stacked near the front door. Talking points were rehearsed in the shower.

Warmer temperatures graced our weekend which was fantastic. (last year it was freezing). Dillon even got ‘The Clever Carrot’ tattooed onto his arm at the face painting station. He’s my biggest fan.

The dish I created for everyone was a silky butternut squash risotto.

Maggie, who runs the farm with her husband Matt, was kind enough to roast the squash ahead of time. To do this at home, simply slice it in half, lengthwise, and roast cut-side down until soft.

For the risotto, I sautéed leeks and onion as the base. I also threw in 1 clove of garlic, which I almost never do because it can be over powering. But this garlic was so unbelievably fresh, it was a mellow flavor in the background. The pan was deglazed with some organic white wine (gift from my hubby!) and finished with stock. I also added the roasted butternut squash, parm and a pat of butter.

Thirty minutes later, it was done…

I also burnt the bottom of the pot.

a farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.coma farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.com

Oh, and I almost forgot!

At the demo, I finished each portion with flecks of maple-glazed pancetta and crispy sage. In the pictures above, I used applewood smoked bacon to switch things up. The salty-sweet flavor is such a nice compliment to the earthy butternut squash. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute with toasted bread crumbs.

All in all, it was a beautiful day. It felt good to re-charge at the farm, surrounded by nature, family and good food!  I’ll be back with more blog updates soon- I’ve missed you all!

a farm tour + butternut squash risotto. | theclevercarrot.com

butternut squash risotto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
For the Squash
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
For the Risotto
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of leek, white and light green parts only, washed and trimmed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cartons of organic stock (or homemade), chicken or vegetable
  • handful of Parmesan cheese
Maple-Glazed Bacon with Sage
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 slices of Applewood smoked bacon or 4 oz, diced pancetta
  • handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped (the more the merrier)
  • splash of pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Slice the squash lengthwise, keeping the seeds intact. Coat both halves with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place cut side down on a lined baking sheet. Roast for about a ½ hour (or more) until perfectly tender.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Slice the leeks into ½ moon shapes and add to the pot. Add the onion. Saute until the veggies are soft but not colored.
  3. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until most of the moisture is evaporated. Add the rice and stir to coat.
  5. Scoop out some of the flesh from the butternut squash. I used half of one of the halves to start. Add to the risotto.
  6. Then, add a little bit of the stock. Stir gently until the rice fully absorbs the liquid. Then, add more stock. Repeat this process until the rice has fully swelled and is tender. You may, or may not need all of the stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. While the rice is cooking, add the bacon to a non-stick pan with 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook over low heat until golden. Towards the end of cooking add the sage. Pour in the maple syrup and cook for one minute. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  8. To serve, add a handful of parmesan cheese to the risotto along with a small pat of butter. Portion into bowls and top with the maple-glazed bacon. Enjoy!



  1. Patti Veneziano says

    Love those boys! This recipe is Fall perfection. I am making it for a Sunday /Football dinner I am going to tomorrow. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

    • Asa says

      I was thinking of making this for the football game tomorrow too (go Pats)! One question though: you only mention using some of the squash in the beginning before adding the stock. Should I stir in the rest of the squash at the end before serving?

      • Emilie says

        Hi! Great question! Start with half (of one of the halves) and see if you want more- some squash are sweeter than others. You definitely won’t use both halves based on the ratio of rice in this particular recipe. You can freeze whatever you don’t use, or if I were you, make a butternut squash soup to eat during the week.

        • Asa says

          Thanks for the reply – my butternut squash was medium-sized so I ended up mixing in one half “mashed” with the rice, then cubed the other half and mixed that in at the very end. It came out so good! I went the breadcrumb route instead of bacon because I was serving it to some vegetarians. With the bread crumbs on top my daughter thought it was Mac-n-cheese – it was so creamy and tasty – she devoured it. Love this recipe, I can see it becoming a Fall favorite.

  2. Jennifer says

    Yes I missed your posts but understand how things get hectic!! “Life stuff”
    I love risotto and can’t wait to try this recipe. It’s perfect for fall!

  3. says

    It’s good to take creative breaks every now and then Emilie. There is so much involved in creating content and maintaining a food blog that it can be completely draining and easy to lose track of that creative spark.

    But it seems you got your mojo back . This is such a lovely recipe to say “hello again” with. I just adore that crispy sage & maple glazed pancetta that you used on top of this beautiful risotto.

  4. says

    I loved your day and cooking at the farm just by watching the little insta stories fragments Emilie and now I’m loving it even more.
    As for the risotto, that’s lunch sorted for tomorrow .
    Totally in love with it . Thanks for being such an inspiration my dear.

  5. says

    Hi Emilie. Totally understand about the craziness of life. You just can’t be everywhere at once. Better to live in the moment and enjoy those moments for what they are. We are patient. And this recipe is worth the wait. Cheers!

  6. Steve says

    We were there last weekend, and my wife made the butternut squash risotto, based on your recipe. It was very yummy! We didn’t have white wine, so we used red instead. Still very yummy! Thanks!

  7. says

    I’ve been looking at the squash in the garden and pondering how to cook them but now there will be risotto and soup to start with. Love your photos of the day and like the fact that you rehearse in the shower. Whenever I do bread making at our Open Farm day, I have to go for long, long walks beforehand to work everything out in my head.

  8. says

    So sorry about your loss but i’m glad you found some comfort in doing what you love and being with the people you love as well. A Clever Carrot Tatto?! How awesome is that??! You’ve made it to the big leagues now!! haha!! I remember your post last year about the cooking demo (it was so funny). Happy this year was warmer! And this risotto! I can practically taste the flavors in my mouth right now. Delish!!

  9. says

    Here’s to being real and openly admitting just how impossible it is to doing it all. :) What a beautiful farm and seasonal risotto to celebrate the joy of fall. I bet you were just fabulous at your talk. xo

  10. John says

    Hi Emilie,

    Just found your blog while looking for sourdough bread recipes. (Sorry for your loss).
    This risotto recipe looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try it this weekend.

    Also, FYI – your link to Golden Earthworm Organic Farm is broken (on Safari browser) because you are missing the “:” after the “http”.

    Wish I was closer to eastern L.I. Because it looks like a beautiful farm!
    Love your blog! :)

  11. Mary says

    I just found this recipe and I’m wondering about the squash seeds. You mention leaving the seeds intact when roasting. Do you put them in the risotto as well as the flesh?

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