Butternut squash and a whole-grain risotto are hearty match made in heaven. I came across this risotto technique in the wonderful Ideas in Food blog, by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot, who are also the authors of the new book Ideas In Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work (Clarkson Potter). They experimented with soaking arborio rice, then adding hot stock, and cooking it for 6 minutes to yield wonderful, creamy risotto. It’s a great technique to use with whole grains like farro or barley to reduce the cooking time yet enjoy creamy risotto-like results with tender yet al dente grains. In fact, this is now the only I make whole-grain risotto. The plan-ahead involves nothing more than putting the grains in a pot to soak before you go to work in the morning. To make the meal come together even more quickly on a weeknight, peel and cube the squash the night before.