Butternut Squash and sage risotto

Sunday, 13 July 2014
This was one of my many attempts to trick D into eating butternut squash.  It worked fine until he asked what it was.

I don't know why he has such an irrational hatred for butternut squash because he does like it when he eats it but as soon as he knows, he'll loudly tell everyone how much he doesn't... frustrating! Maybe I should give up as I don't really like the idea of tricking him but his stubbornness is unreal.

He does, however, love picking the sage for me.  My sage bush has grown to mad proportions this year - it seems to be the hardiest of the herbs.

This is an adaptation of this BBC recipe
Serves two adults and two children comfortably (or two larger adult portions and a child's!)
Ingredients: - 
two splashes of olive oil
700g butternut squash, chopped into small chunks
handful of sage, chopped small, a few leaves reserved whole
2 shallots, finely diced
220g risotto rice (I usually use arborio)
1.1 litre vegetable stock
30g butter
40g parmesan (do be aware that this means that the recipe is not vegetarian, although you could substitute with a vegetarian alternative)

Preheat your oven to gas mark seven.  Lay out the butternut squash and sage on a baking tray and toss with a little olive oil.  Roast for thirty minutes by which time the squash will fall apart.

Meanwhile, heat the other splash of oil in a large wok/pan.  Gently sweat the shallots for six or seven minutes, until they go translucent.  

Add the risotto rice to the pan, mixing through with the shallots.  warm over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the rice also begins to go a little translucent at the edges.  Keep an eye on it - risotto rice can be very quick to burn.  If needs be, add a dot of butter to help loosen it.  

Over a medium heat, add the stock, a large splash at a time.  Keep stirring the mixture.  Each time the liquid evaporates add another splash.  In total, it should take around twenty minutes for all of the stock to be incorporated.

The squash should be ready at this stage.  Remove from the oven and either use a blender or a masher to squash down about two thirds of it.  Leave the rest intact.

Stir this through the rice mixture, along with the butter and the parmesan.  

Serve with a grinding of fresh black pepper.  Try to convince your four year old that he should just enjoy it and not query the butternut squash ratio... 


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