I first observed this meal when my American house-mate made some and was immediately taken in. Through a mixture of observing her and looking at some recipes on the net I gradually honed this to my tastes. Perhaps the biggest variable is the herb you use – I prefer sage but my housemate always used dill. Last time I made it I also added a Sweet Potato (par boiled then prepared the same way as the squash). I think most root vegetables/squashes would work well for this dish so long as they can be made soft enough to mash.
I used around 350g rice (dried weight). This made enough for about 6 decent portions using 1 squash and 1 Sweet Potato. Scale the rest of your ingredients around the amount of rice you use.
- Aborrio Rice
- A Butternut Squash (or any other similar vegetable)
- Stock of any variety. Enough to cook the rice fully.
- Around a glass of White Wine
- Knob of Butter
- Herb of Choice
- Decent amount of Grated, hard cheese (I used Red Leicester and Parmesan)
- Use a variety of squashes/root vegetables
- Small vegetables – peas worked well.
- Preheat Oven to around 200C
- Prepare the Onion and Squash by peeling and chopping into chunks. The smaller the Squash the faster it will roast. If using potato par-boil at this stage so it can be roasted with the Squash.
- Toss the squash in a bowl with oil, seasoning and your herb until fully coated. Spread evenly on a baking tray and place in oven. You may need to turn them a bit during cooking. You know it’s ready when you can effortlessly mash a chunk with a spoon.
- While the Squash roasts melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onions to your liking.
- Add the rice and coat every grain. Fry until turning translucent.
- Add the wine and stir gently until evaporated.
- Add the hot stock a little at a time – just enough to cover the rice. When evaporated, repeat this process. Continue adding and reducing until you have a thick, moist mixture. Try the rice to ensure it’s fully cooked. Don’t forget about the squash – it will probably be ready during this step.
If adding peas or something similar, put them in at the beginning of this step so they have time to cook
- Put most of the squash into a bowl and mash to a pulp. Stir the mashed mixture and grated cheese into the risotto until the taste and consistency are to your liking. If you don’t need to use it all, don’t worry – the mashed mixture makes a great side dish.
- Garnish with the remaining roast squash.
Storage and Serving
Despite its heaviness, this works great as both a starter and main. For a starter, use a cookie cutter for shape and place on a small plate with a side salad. For a main, I suggest spreading evenly on a large plate although a bowl would keep it warmer for longer.
Whilst best served on the night, I made enough to last me 5 days (although really, you should be weary of keeping rice more than 2 or 3). 2 minutes on medium heat in the microwave and it was wonderful. Whilst I’m not a fan of microwaves, a saucepan would run the risk of harming the consistency.
If you have any questions or suggestions for alterations to this Guesscipe, please do comment!