I really love homemade risotto. It does take a bit of time to work together, but the end result is always super warming. This dish was so perfect for the autumn period, using seasonal produce is always great! The crunchy seeds on top made the mix of soft and crunchy perfect. The cinnamon adds a real sweet flavour to the punchy fennel and thyme. Traditionally butternut squash always goes with sage but I find that so hard to find in my local supermarkets so I thought I would use what I was more likely to have in the cupboards! Let me know if you give this a try and what you thought!
Ingredients – for 2
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp coriander leaf (fresh or dried)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 butternut squash
1-2 cloves garlic
Handful of pumpkin/squash seeds – I had half a butternut squash frozen which I used for this, so had no available squash seeds hence why I used pumpkin seeds!
200g arborio rice
Cut butternut squash into small chunks – keep the seeds separate. Drizzle with some olive oil and mild chilli powder and cook in the oven for 40 mins to one hour.
Clean the seeds and boil in salted water for ten minutes. Drain and dry the seeds and then toast on the hob for a few minutes like you would pumpkin seeds. If using pumpkin seeds, skip the boiling part and just toast!
After about 30 mins, add some oil to a pan and fry the onion and garlic. After about 5 minutes, add the chilli powder, cinnamon, fennel, coriander and thyme and stir to coat.
Add the rice and make sure everything is incorporated.
Begin adding the stock/water, you will want about 1-2 litres in total. Add this one ladle at a time, let this absorb and add the next. Continue until the rice is cooked how you like.
Remove half the squash from oven during this time (turn the oven down slightly) and blitz in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add this to the risotto and stir through.
Remove the other half of the squash from the oven and stir this in to the risotto.
Serve in bowls, topping with the seeds.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did – let me know!
Love A, x