Risotto with Roasted Rosemary Butternut Squash and Shallots

Actually this one is inspired by a vegetable roast side dish for Christmas dinner…

Browsing through my bookmarks of enticing recipes, I came across this Christmas vegetable side dish by Julie Grimes Bottcher which I had found over at finecooking.com. Based on the delicious taste of oven roasted shallots from an earlier risotto, I thought it would be a great vegetable addition to a risotto as well.

With some minor tweaks (I upped the quantities shallots, fresh rosemary and butternut squash, but cut it in smaller bite-size cubes), I combined it with my standard risotto recipe and it indeed turned out to be a terrific dish!

The recipe: (serves 4-6 persons)

For the roasted squash and shallots:

  • 4 cups of 1,5cm / 1/2″- diced, butternut squash (I had a 1.3kg / 3 pound squash)
  • 5 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
 For the risotto:
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 250g / 1 cup risotto rice (I used arborio)
  • 250ml / 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 litre / 4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp / 40g butter, cubed
  • grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 235C/450F.
  2. Put the diced squash and quartered shallots in a large oven dish or on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle over the rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper and once again toss to coat.
  3. Distribute the vegetables evenly and roast in the oven for an initial 20 minutes.
  4. In the meantime prepare the risotto in a heavy-based pan. Start off by sweating off the onions in the olive oil on medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes while the risotto rice toasts and them add the minced garlic and fry for a minute.
  6. Pour in the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate and rice absorb the liquid, stirring continuously.
  7. Add 2 ladles of hot stock and let the rice simmer, adding another ladle once the stock is absorbed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the stock is used.
  8. After the first 20 minutes or roasting, give the vegetables a good stir and return to the oven until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.
  9. Once both risotto and vegetables are ready, remove the risotto pan from the heat, stir in the roasted vegetables and the butter and cover the pan for a couple of minutes before serving.
  10. Finish with parmesan as well as salt and pepper to taste and dig in!!
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