We’ve still lots of lovely butternuts left from my autumn harvest, and thankfully they keep really well in a cool dark place for several months. They’re most definitely one of my very favourite veggies and so usefully versatile getting regularly thrown in many a Soup, Curry, Stir Fry or Stew and even in pasta dishes (think Carbonara or Mac ‘n Cheese). They even shine on a Tart or Pizza too. But a Butternut Risotto happens to be one of my favourite uses of this glorious veggie, and is a firm Chez Foti winter comfort food favourite.
This is actually a recipe I make with the littlies in mind and uses cream cheese, but if you want to make a more grown up version replace the cream cheese with a goats cheese. I use plenty of fresh sage which I’m particularly partial to with squash or pumpkin and cheese, but if your kids are herb adverse then leave out. If making for very little littlies then omit the wine too and use ‘baby’ stock cubes available from most major chemists or supermarkets.
After watching Nigel Slater’s recent series I now always keep my Butternut Skin shavings and briefly roast them in the oven (which you’d be using anyway for this dish) in a little olive oil, salt & pepper and make some totally delish freebie Butternut Crisps. They’re wonderful served as a little crispy side to soups or risottos.
Since I’m using fresh sage in my recipe I’m entering my post, for the second time this month, to Lavender and Lovage’s Herbs on Saturday challenge, this month hosted by Vanether at Bangers and Mash Chat. Please do go and check out all the entries, there’s sure to be something you fancy!
Butternut Squash Risotto with Butternut Crisps
Toddler and Young Children, Bigger Kids, Family Dinners, Mid-Week Suppers, Grown Up Dinners
Enough for a family of 4:
a largish butternut squash, peeled (keep the peelings if you want to make crisps!), seeds removed (these can also be deliciously roasted) and cut into 1.5cm cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus a drizzle for the crisps if making
salt & pepper
3 shallots or a small onion, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
20g of butter
220g of risotto rice
a glass of white wine
a litre of chicken or veggie stock, piping hot
a dessertspoon of finely chopped fresh sage
75g of soft cheese or goats cheese
a heaped tablespoon of Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Place the butternut cubes on a large baking tray and drizzle over a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Ensure the cubes are equally coated and place in the hot oven to roast for about 35 minutes. They’re ready when they’ve taken on a little colour and are completely tender and soft.
During this cooking time place the peelings on a separate baking tray and drizzle with a wee bit of olive oil and a little salt & pepper. Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until crisped up, checking regularly as they’re quick to burn. Once ready remove from the oven and drain on kitchen paper until you’re ready to serve.
Now to make the risotto. Heat the butter and another tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan on a gentle heat. Add the shallots or onion and celery and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Stir in the rice ensuring the grains get a good coating of the butter and oil. Pour in the wine and stir. Allow to simmer away on a gentle heat. Once most of the wine’s evaporated pour on a ladleful of hot stock together with the sage. Continue to stir at regular intervals adding further ladlefuls of hot stock every time the last one is nearly all absorbed.
When the rice is on the edge of being ready and tender stir in the roasted butternut cubes and cream cheese/goats cheese. Allow to bubble away for a few minutes more before finally stirring in the Parmesan or Grana Padano. Taste and season with black pepper to suit. You probably won’t need to add any additional salt as there’s plenty in the stock and cheese.
Serve the risotto with a few butternut skin crisps on the side. A word of warning, whilst the crisps look pretty served on top of the risotto (as per my pic) they quickly become soggy from the steam!.
Here’s some other Chez Foti risotto recipes: Spinach, Courgette & Pesto Risotto, Asparagus, Pea & Lemon Risotto, Sausage & Courgette Risotto
January 15th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
This looks yummy. Must try the crisps done in the oven too, sounds an easy and healthy way of using the skin. Have made your butternut and feta tart a few times too by the way – it went down very well with all of us.
January 16th, 2013 at 1:35 pm
The crisps are fab, and you’ll never throw or compost the skin again! Though credit should really go to Mr Slater. Glad you like the tart, it’s a bit of a favourite with us too
January 15th, 2013 at 3:12 pm
Mmmm, this looks so comforting and warming. Perfect for this time of year. I am huge fan of Butternut Risottos and I just love the sound of these Butternut Crisps. I will certainly be doing that with the skin rather than wasting it. Top tip Lou – thanks fir that! xx
January 16th, 2013 at 1:38 pm
Thanks Anneli. My kids love this as much as us and I’ve been making a version of it for them with cream cheese since they were both about 8/9 months old. Though luckily they’ll now happily scoff it down with goats cheese and sage so it’s a little more interesting for the grown up folk!. And they love the crisps too.
January 15th, 2013 at 5:18 pm
That looks so gorgeous and I love the sound of using goat’s cheese with the squash. I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to try.
January 16th, 2013 at 1:39 pm
I prefer the goats cheese version myself, but then I’m a big fan and not everyone is. Goats cheese and butternut somehow work really well together. Please try!
January 16th, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I’m definitely going to and will report back 🙂
January 15th, 2013 at 8:42 pm
Mmmmm! This looks simply scrummy. And what a great idea to turn the skin into chips – genius! And another fabulous entry for Herbs on Saturday. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
January 16th, 2013 at 1:18 pm
Now you have to thank my food hero Mr Slater for that tip! And they’re really good. Never again shall I chuck away the skin :))
January 15th, 2013 at 8:44 pm
[…] Butternut Risotto with Butternut Crisps from Chez Foti […]
January 15th, 2013 at 11:10 pm
Looks lovely and warming, and the squash crisps idea is great!
January 16th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
Oh it really is my winter comfort food heaven, especially made with a good goats cheese 🙂
January 18th, 2013 at 8:56 pm
Ah, butternut squash risotto is one of our faves too! I love the idea of the butternut crisps, I shall have to try next time we have it. I think butternut is such a versatile veggie too, it pops up in our kitchen rather a lot.
January 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Can’t beat a bit of butternut can you, especially at this time of the year! Think I’ve got 6 left from my bumper Autumn harvest, and I’m savoring them as you can’t buy them here.
February 1st, 2013 at 3:46 pm
[…] Butternut Risotto with Butternut Crisps from Chez Foti […]