Butternut squash risotto
Risottos always make a delicious and creamy meal option that takes very little preparation but produces a great result. The key to making a great risotto is the stock. You can either make your own stock, or you can use ready made stock. What do we suggest? Go for the best of both worlds and improve a ready made stock..! Get your favourite stock cubes or powder, make up the stock, then add more flavour to it. For example to enhance this particular recipe we added saffron to give an extra depth of flavour and also add to the yellow colour the butternut squash was going to add.
The butternut squash is roasted first in the oven. This deepens the flavour and makes it more sweet. Then most of the butternut squash was smashed roughly while a few peices were reserved to be served whole as a garnish. In this particular recipe we added some butter beans too.
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For the Stock
- 750ml vegetable stock (use chicken if you are not vegan)
- 1 glass of white wine (optional)
- 1-2 Celery stalks, sliced (chunky slices)
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion, cut in half
- 1/4 tsp saffron, chopped
For the Risotto
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped or puréed
- 250g Risotto Arborio rice
- 1 small can of butter-beans, drained
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Infuse the stock. Prepare your vegetable stock, place in a saucepan and add to it all the stock ingredients.
- Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for around 30 minutes
- Prepare the butternut squash. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, place the butternut squash in a non-stick baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle of olive oil, place in the oven for around 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Once cooked remove from the heat, roughly crush in a small bowl with a fork, reserve a few peices for garnish.
For the Risotto
- In a heavy saucepan gently soften the onion in the olive oil, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes
- Add the rice and cook through the mixture until well coated, around 1 minute.
- Add the white wine, turn up the heat and allow the alcohol to evaporate
- Then begin gently adding a ladle full of stock at a time and stirring through the risotto. When the liquid reduces, add another ladle and stir (gentle heat). Tip, keep the stock on the heat so that it does not reduce the temperature of the Risotto.
- Keep doing this until the risotto is nearly cooked, about 20 minutes. Add the butter beans and butternut squash and stir through.
- Continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes, adding stock as required and until the risotto is cooked.
- Finally switch off the heat, place a lid on the pan and leave to sit for 2 minutes (If you are not Vegan – this would be a good time to add Parmesan cheese)