Butternut squash risotto

Butternut squash risotto

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I created this recipe the other day as my Aunty was coming down from London to see the New Year in with us here in the countryside. I wanted to make something special, dinner party esque. cosy but light! We had an array of nuts leftover from christmas and I always have a bag of risotto rice in the pantry. 

The butternut squash is roasted to lift its sweet caramel like flavours which is complimented by the delicate, perfumed velvet sage leaves. Topping the dish with toasted nuts or seeds provide essential crunch which balances the creaminess of the rice. If I’m making this dish on warmer late summer/early autumn evenings I like to add 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley & tarragon. These are by no means essential but just add extra fresh and lightness. If you don’t have these to hand just add more sage instead. 

This is great to make for dinner parties, or a leisurely weekend dinner. It’s a super special meal and whilst it takes a while its only a simple case of stirring every now and then. There’s no excuse not to give this a go. This delicious dish is a win win, healthy and delectable!

(This recipe serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large, butternut squash (peeled, cut into 2cm cubes)
  • 30ml olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • about 10 large, sage leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley & tarragon (these herbs are definitely not essential, if you don’t have them to hand just add an extra 5 or so sage leaves)
  • 220g carnaroli rice
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1.3 litre vegetable stock
  • 30g nutritional yeast
  • large pinch black pepper
  • handful nuts or seeds e.g. walnuts/ pine/ sunflower/ pumpkin seeds (I recommend toasting them to brighten their flavour)

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 250-225 degrees. Meanwhile, tumble the cubes of squash into a large roasting tin so that it is in a single layer. Toss the squash with 15ml of the oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour stirring half way through.

2. Whilst the squash is baking heat the remaining oil in a large pan and then sweat the onions for about 5 minutes over a low heat until translucent. Then stir in the rice, sage and garlic and cook out for a couple of minutes.

3. Now here is where patience is a virtue! This portion of risotto rice will take about 40 minutes to cook. On the lowest heat, pour in the wine and stir gently until the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of stock at a time, calmly stirring till all the liquid has been soaked up before dribbling in the next bit of stock.

4. Once the squash has cooked and all the stock has been absorbed, add the butternut to the pan with the nutritional yeast and a splash of water to help the nutritional yeast dissolve. Stir to make sure everything is well incorporated. Taste the risotto to see if you need to add more nutritional yeast and any seasoning (remember stock is already quite salty). Divide the risotto among four bowls and sprinkle with nuts or seeds.

Even if you try, you won’t eat this patiently, it’s just too good!

If you like this risotto recipe try my summery courgette, pea & mint risotto!

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