Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Roast butternut and pine nut risotto

This is another one of those veggie dishes that are so good you don't find yourself thinking, "All this needs is a bit of meat, and it would be perfect." Even my carnivorous elder son wolfed it down and came back for seconds!

This recipe uses coriander leaves, but sage is just as good with butternut, so try that as a variation.

Oven temperature

1 large butternut, peeled and cut into largish cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed
10ml fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Olive oil
30ml butter
1 onion, chopped
250ml arborio rice
250ml white wine
750ml vegetable stock
Pine nuts to serve
Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve

  • In a large bowl, mix up about 25ml olive oil with the garlic and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Toss the butternut cubes in this until they are well coated, then place them on a baking tray in the oven for about 45 minutes until soft right through and just starting to darken along the edges.
  • Cut the cooked butternut into smaller cubes (when it is cool enough to handle, obviously!). Don't worry if some pieces get a little mushy. If any little bits got stuck to the baking tray, rescue them - you're going to want those babies in the risotto, too - they have a wonderful toffee-ish taste!
  • Heat 15ml of the butter and another 25ml oil in a  heavy-bottomed frying pan and saute the onion until it softens and becomes translucent.
  • Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated and shiny looking.
  • Add the wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Now add the stock. The proper way to do this is to add a little stock at first and then keep adding a little at a time as it is absorbed by the rice. I tend to just add the whole lot in one go... because I'm a lazy Philistine.
  • Simmer until done. Don't let the rice cook for too long - it is supposed to be al dente, like pasta.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butternut and the rest of the butter.
  • Place into serving bowls and top with a sprinkling of pine nuts, a little Parmesan cheese, a twist of black pepper and the rest of the coriander leaves.

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