Butternut Squash, Cumin and Blue Cheese Risotto

I love butternut squash soup. I blame its sweet flavour. If you’re a regular here, you will already know of my infamous sweet tooth. Except, in this case, no ones cavities are coming to any harm. Because this sweet, sweet dish is au natural baby!

Squash definitely curbs my craving for sugar, making it one of my new best friends. I will sing its praises to anyone who will lend their ear.

I have made numerous squash based dishes – butternut squash soup, baked salmon with roasted butternut squash, glazed pork belly with a butternut squash puree, a variety of salads and more.

I decided that it was time for the long-awaited appearance of a butternut squash risotto. However, I find that risottos can sometimes become a tiny bit monotonous. This is especially true for me as I’ve been making quite an amount of risotto as of late. When I make it, I make enough to sustain me for the next day too.

I felt like mixing things up a bit (excuse the pun). I roasted the squash with miniscule chopped mushrooms and spring onion. I added a teaspoon of cumin in order to put what I suppose you could call a middle-eastern twist on things. Just because I love blue cheese, I threw in a couple of Dairylea blue cheese triangles, to give the risotto a delightfully creamy texture and just that little blue cheese tang that it needed.

The roasted butternut squash, ground cumin and blue cheese work exceptionally well together. The three ingredients combined create a sweet, nutty, earthy and pungent taste, forming a risotto that in my opinion, is worthy of being made again and again.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 butternut squash – peeled, seeds removed and finely cubed
  • 4 spring onions, diagonally sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Dairylea blue-cheese triangles
  • walnut oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Toss the squash, mushrooms and spring onions in a few glugs of walnut oil. Sprinkle with cumin and toss again to combine. Roast for approximately 30 minutes at 180C.

Heat a glug of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the roasted vegetables and the rice, stirring to coat everything evenly in the oil.

Add enough boiling stock to just cover the rice. Bring to the boil, constantly stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed.

Add another ladleful of stock, stirring constantly until it has been fully absorbed. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked.

Once the rice is cooked, stir in the cheese triangles until the risotto is of a creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper.

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