Warming risotto for October’s kitchen
October in the kitchen
Roasted squash risotto
I was given a Turks Head Squash at the Harrogate Show last month and wasn’t sure what to do with it! After some research and a bit of experimenting I’ve found that it’s quite similar to a butternut squash in taste and in cooking but is just a little more awkward to cut up!
Serves 2 Takes about 30 minutes
Aproximately 450g squash (I’ve used a turks head squash but butternut or acorn work really well too)
4 tablespoons olive oil
600ml good vegetable/chicken stock
1 small onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
140g Arborio (risotto) rice
100ml dry white wine
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and pepper
- Cut the squash up into manageable slices and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Peel the squash being careful if the squash has been in storage for a while as the peel can be quite brittle and tough. Chop the flesh into approximately 2cm pieces.
- Toss about half the pieces in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and put in a small roasting tin. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper then pop in the oven 200C/fan 180/gas6 whilst you cook the risotto or until the chunks are crisp and golden on the outside but really tender inside (about 20 minutes). You may need to turn over a couple of times during cooking.
- Pour the stock into a medium sized pan and add the remaining chunks of squash. Bring to very gentle simmer then leave to cook as you cook the risotto.
- Heat the remaining oil and 2/3 of the butter in a medium sized lidded frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a gentle heat with the lid on until the onion is softened but not coloured at all. Scatter in the thyme leaves and a good grinding of pepper, then recover and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat up slightly and tip in the risotto rice. Coat well in the oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Turn the heat up a little more and add the wine. Allow to bubble away until it has all evaporated then turn the heat down to medium and add in a ladle of the stock. Stir gently all the time until the stock has been absorbed then repeat until you have used up all the stock, a ladle at a time.
- The mixture should be wet and move as one around the pan as the starch from the rice binds everything together.
- Quickly mash the squash in the stock pan and add to the risotto. Stir into the rice. Turn off the heat.
- Dot with the remaining butter then scatter over 2/3 of the parmesan. Cover with the lid and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Check for seasoning.
Serve immediately in shallow bowls and scatter the roasted squash chunks over the top along with the remaining parmesan cheese.