Smoked Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage Butter
Whist still suffering post festivity 'I-can't-face-any-more-meat' syndrome I decided to try a comforting, colourful alternative.
Medium butternut squash
Salt and Pepper
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
Large clove of garlic
275g arborio risotto rice
Glass of white wine
75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of torn fresh sage leaves
Smoking Butternut Squash
It is my belief that a little smoke goes a long way and that popping some vegetables into the Bradley Smoker for 20-40 minutes without cabinet heat gives them enough smoke flavour to add nuance to a dish without overwhelming it.
For mine I halved a medium butternut squash (from top to bottom) and scooped out the seeds,
I place it in the cabinet with some heads of garlic and a couple of red ramiro peppers for good measure - I used some of the garlic but saved the rest for other occasions.
If you want a more pronounced smoke flavour then by all means smoke for longer, or pre-slice the squash halves into 1cm thick slices and scatter loosely over a Bradley wire rack.
I used apple wood bisquettes Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage Butter -
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the butternut squash into 1cm thick slices and spread on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for about 25- and very tender.30 minutes, turning once during cooking time - the squash should be slightly colouring and very tender, set aside.
Heat 750ml chicken or vegetable stock in a saucepan.
While the squash is roasting, peel and thinly slice a large shallot.
Crush a large clove of garlic with a teaspoon of salt and mash to a paste with the side of a large knife.
Melt 50g butter in a large sauté pan, add the garlic, shallot, black pepper and a pinch of saffron strands (cook over low heat for 4 minutes until softened but not colouring.
Now add 275g arborio risotto rice to the pan and turn to coat with butter.
Now turn the heat up and pour a glass of white wine in with the rice and as soon as it has been absorbed start to add the stock a ladle at a time (from this point it will take 15-20 minutes to cook).
Once almost tender, fold in 75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, taste and add ore salt if necessary, and add leave to stand for a few minutes.
Quickly melt and in a small skillet, add a handful of torn fresh sage leaves, and remove as soon as the leaves turn darker.
Divide the risotto between 4 warmed pasta bowls, top with smoked squash, hot from the oven, and spoon sage butter over the top.
Serve immediately with Parmesan and grater available.