Freddie from GreatBigVegChallenge is soon moving on to squashes and has asked for a favourite squash recipe - so here you are Freddy! The squash is one of my favourite vegetables - they keep well so I usually have one in my vegetable basket that is always handy for stand by meals. This week, I used it to make a risotto - such a therapeutic dish to make with all that stirring - just perfect to unwind after a hard days work.
Roasted Garlic and Squash Risotto
Serves 3-4, preparation and cooking time 45 minutes
8 - 10 cloves of garlic in their skins
1 small butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced
300g risotto rice
100ml sherry or brandy
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
100g grated cheddar
salt and pepper to season
parsley to garnish (optional)
Peel, de-seed and roughly chop the squash. Place in a roasting pan with the garlic cloves and 2 tbsp of the olive oil and roast in a hot oven for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove the skin and finely chop the soft garlic You can do this the day before if you are organised!
Finely chop the onion and fry gentle in the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a large pan with the mushrooms until they are soft. This will take a good 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook gently for 3 - 5 minutes until the rice become translucent. Add the sherry or brandy and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the stock a ladle full at a time, cooking out all the stock before you add the next ladle, otherwise the outside of the rice will cook too quickly and you will be left with a crunchy inside. When all the stock has evaporated test that the rice is cooked (it should not be crunchy at all - if it is cook a little longer with some more stock or water) and then add the squash and garlic to the pan and stir well. Stir in the cheese and butter and heat gently for a few minutes. Season and garnish with parsley if using and serve straight away.
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx