Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sunday Evening Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Risotto

Serves 4, or 3 very hungry diners!

For the risotto:

1 pint veg stock
1 tblsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
200g arborio risotto rice
1 large glass dry white wine
50g butter
small handful grated gruyere cheese
lots of salt and pepper

For the toppings:
1/2 medium butternut squash
1tblsp olive oil
1tblsp fresh thyme leaves
1tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper

small handful almonds, chopped
small handful pumpkin seeds
small handful wholemeal breadcrumbs
large knob of butter

crumbled feta cheese to taste


1.      Preheat the oven at 200 C. Peel and de-seed the butternut squash and chop into 1cm cubes. Put on a baking tray with the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well then pop in the oven for 30mins, along with the un-touched whole garlic bulb. Put them both to one side once they’re cooked. The garlic bulbs will be squishy not crispy, the squash should be soft and slightly brown at the edges.

2.      In a medium saucepan, keep the stock on a low heat so it stays hot.

3.      In a second heavy based saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and celery. Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins till it starts to go translucent.

4.      Add the glass of wine to the onion and turn up the heat so it cooks quickly, stirring constantly. 

5.      When the wine is absorbed, turn the heat back down, add a ladle full of stock and keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed.

6.      Add more stock, a ladle at a time, till it’s all been absorbed. Take your time over this. It should take about 30mins. You might need to add more hot water if the rice isn’t cooked after all the stock is gone.

7.      Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the butter and gruyere cheese. Add a decent amount of salt and pepper, tasting to make sure you’re putting the right amount in.

8.      Squeeze the soft garlic out of the roasted bulbs and stir into the risotto.

9.      Next heat a heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat (don’t use any oil) and add the chopped almonds. Keep tossing them so they turn brown evenly. Add the pumpkin seeds after a couple of minutes to toast these too. Then throw in a knob of butter, allow it to melt, then add the breadcrumbs. Mix well and take off the heat.

10.  Stir the squash into the risotto and scoop dollops out into large warmed bowls. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and top with the nut/crumb mix.

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