The Daily Dish: Chef Mark Pollard’s Fall Risotto


Chef Mark Pollard with Ferguson Kitchen, Bath, and Lighting shares his delicious Fall Risotto recipe.



1 small butternut squash, peeled cubed

Olive oil

8-10 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

About 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 stick plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 cups risotto rice, such as Arborio or Carolina Gold Rice

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as chardonnay

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

3 sprigs fresh sage leaves, minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cubed squash onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter along with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, turning once, until caramelized, about 7-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Place the stock in a pot over medium-low heat.
  4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  Once the butter begins to foam, add the leek and onion to the pan and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and stir to coat well with the butter. Cook the rice until it begins to smell nutty, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the white wine and cook until wine has almost all evaporated.
  7. Begin adding the stock a ladle at a time, making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding additional liquid. Stir risotto continuously.   Continue adding stock one ladle at a time until rice is “al dente”.
  8. When the rice is al dente, add the roasted butternut squash and one more ladle of stock. Stir until stock has absorbed into the rice and butternut squash mixture.
  9. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, sage and thyme. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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