Thursday, 23 July 2015

Roasted Squash Risotto !

Risotto is an Italian rice delicacy cooked in a broth to a creamy consitency and the main ingredients include Rice (Risotto / Arborio) , butter, Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano) and white wine. Other ingredients include choice of vegetables or meat  and also the broth (stock) can be from vegetable, fish or meat.
I made this squash that is roasted well and pureed and added to rice cooked in vegetable broth. It turned out really well as the squash itself gave a very creamy texture to the dish.

  • 250 gms Arborio or Risotto Rice
  • 1/2 Butternut Squash (Medium Size)
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas (Fresh or Frozen)
  • few broccoli florets
  • 1/2 Bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion (chopped finely)
  • 2 - 3 Garlic Cloves (Chopped finely)
  • 4 - 5 Vegetable / Chicken Stock Cubes (Or homemade stock)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or as needed)
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried herbs (oregano, thyme , rosemary etc)
  • 2  tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup white wine (optional) (I didnt use)
  • Cube the butternut squash and place them on a baking tray lined with foil.
  • Spray / brush some oil (I used butter spray) , sprinkle some salt. pepper and some dried herbs,
  • Roast them for 30 - 35 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 deg C until they are slightly charred.
  • Puree the squash reserving few chunks for serving.
  • Add the stock cubes to warm water and stir well so that they melt and mix with water.
  • Bring to a slight boil and keep aside.

  • Now in a broad vessel / pot heat olive oil and add the garlic and onions and saute them well.
  • Once onion is well sauted add the arborio rice and fry it together with onion for 2 - 3 minutes until they rice is well coated with oil
  • Now add half a cup of the hot stock to the rice and keep stirring till all the stock is absorbed by the rice. If using white wine then add it before adding the stock and cook till the wine is absorbed by the rice and then add the first cup of stock.

  •  Again add another half cup stock, keep stirring and let the rice absorb the stock and get cooked.

  • Repeat the same several times, but only half cup at a time and allowing the rice to completely absorb the stock before you add next cup each time.
  • When the rice is around 80 % cooked, (taste a rice and if its soft around but the center is slightly hard) add the green peas and peppers and as usual stock and keep cooking.
  • You need atleast 1 - 1 1/4 litres of stock for this quantity of rice. And patiently keep adding only half cup at a time till the rice is cooked well but slightly al dente.
  • Then add the pureed squash and blanced broccoli to the rice and mix well.
  • The color turns slight orange and add another half cup stock, little salt and crushed black pepper, some dried herbs and mix everything well.
  • The risotto should look watery at this stage as shown in third pic, add butter and grated parmesan to it and turn off heat.

  •  Close the vessel and let it sit for 5 minutes. The cheese and butter would be melted and stir well once.
  • Serve hot with the roasted squash chunks on top.

  • Use preferably arborio or risotto rice when you want to try Risotto as it is high in starch content and results in a creamy risotto. I am not sure how normal Indian rice works for this.
  • You can also use chicken stock for this.
  • Make sure you add little salt as the vegetable/ chicken stock will already have salt.
  • Reduce butter quantity if you want to.
  • Generally risottos contain white wine as an ingredient. You can include if you wish to.
  • Parmesan gives the authentic Italian flavor and blends well with rice. So better dont replace it with any other cheese. If you are cheese person, then you can include some mozzarella in addition to the Parmesan. I used less Parmesan and butter as Squash itself gives a nice creamy texture.
  • It should take around 30 - 35 minutes for the risotto to cook and you have to keep stirring it adding little stock at a time and do not leave it on stove unattended.
  • If the stock becomes cold while rice is cooking, you can warm it again, or just let it sit on stove in low flame.
  • You can do this recipe excluding the veggies and just with squash.. I just wanted to make it more healthy by adding more veggies. You  can also include some celery and carrots in this.
  • Instead of roasting you can also saute it in oil well and cook till soft and then puree it.
  • Serve it with some garlic bread or Bruschetta like I did.

With Love,

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