Friday, October 17, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Maple Syrup Almonds

I've just found a really useful website for Bristol runners - take a look at it and plan your next run!http://www.bristolrunningresource.org.uk/ . I've put a link to this blog in my links list for future reference.

Autumn is approaching fast and butternut squash and pumpkins are everywhere. Not only are they cheap to buy, but they are DELICIOUS and REALLY NUTRITIOUS, especially roasted in the oven with a little oil, salt, pepper and cumin. I made a really satifying roasted butternut squash risotto this week. It is low cost, dead healthy and easy to make. Give it a go....

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Maple Syrup Almonds
This is a wonderful midweek training dish for the autumn. Butternut squash is one of those vegetables that has an amazing array of nutrients – it is an excellent source of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory beta carotene (vitamin A), it contains good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and fibre, plus folic acid, omega 3 gatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, niacin….the list is endless. Add the almonds, parmesan and the risotto rice to this and you have a very tasty and nutritious low G.I. meal. I make the most of standing over the risotto by doing my stretches while I am stirring.

N.B. You can render this meal into a higher G.I. recovery meal by replacing the butternut squash with pumpkin.

Ingredients - serves 4
1 Butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 2cm cubes
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Knob of butter and 2 tbsp olive oil
350g risotto rice – vialone nano or arborio, for instance
1.5 litres hot vegetable or chicken stock
Glass of dry white wine
1 tsp saffron strands
75g freshly grated parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small handful of flaked almonds
1 tbsp maple syrup diluted with a few drops of water

Preparation

  1. Put the squash on a baking sheet and toss it with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle a tsp of salt and some freshly ground pepper over the top.

  2. Roast in the oven at 200°C for about 25 minutes until the squash is tender and golden. Stir it once or twice while it is roasting and start making the risotto while it is cooking.
    Heat up the stock in a saucepan so that it is ready to ladle onto the rice.

  3. Melt the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and gently sauté the onion until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic and gently sauté for a couple of minutes, without allowing it to brown.
  4. Add the rice and the saffron and stir until the grains become translucent and glossy.
    Add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add a ladle of hot stock and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Add the hot stock, a ladle at a time. You need to make sure that each ladleful is absorbed by the rice before you add the next one. This should take about 18-20 minutes. You may need more or less stock according to the type of rice and the rate of absorption.
  5. Meanwhile mix the almonds with the maple syrup and water and pop them in the oven for about 5 minutes until golden.
  6. The rice is cooked when it looks nice and creamy and slightly al dente. Taste it to see if you need more salt (it depends how salty your stock is as to how much you need), turn off the heat, stir in the parmesan and the butternut squash and a generous knob of butter. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes.
    Serve with the almonds and some fresh parmesan shavings.
  7. I think this goes really well with a crisp green salad (frisee or gem) with crispy bacon/pancetta pieces and tossed in a light balsmamic dressing.

3 comments:

Sophie said...

I really like the sweet and savory ingredients you've paired with the butternut squash, it's such a versatile food :)...and quite healthy, too! I'd like to feature your recipe on our blog, please let me know if you're interested :)!

Happy Holidays!
Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger
sophie@keyingredient.com

Dazy said...

I don't much like risottos. My kids love it though. I would rather have butternut squash soup, a light-sweet one. I roasted the butternut squash before I put it in the soup and pureed it.

Dazy said...

I don't much like risottos. My kids love it though. I would rather have butternut squash soup, a light-sweet one. I roasted the butternut squash before I put it in the soup and pureed it.