Butternut squash, gorgonzola and pecan risotto

As a self confessed fussy eater. I am always looking for ways of getting more vegetables (quantity and variety) into my diet whilst still enjoying the food I eat. Risottos for me have been one of the best ways I have found.

Many people mistakenly believe risottos are difficult to cook but in my experience this couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not before I cooked my first risotto I had never eaten one and my boyfriend was reluctant to let me cook him one as they reminded him of rice pudding. Now 12 months or so later risotto has become <!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> <!–[if gte mso 10]> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} <![endif]–> a regular feature on our meal plans. Risottos can be cooked all year round. For example in the summer a lemon and rocket risotto can be enjoyable, whilst in the winter a butternut squash risotto is close to my ultimate comfort food.

The first risotto I cooked was a risotto primavera from a recipe in glamour magazine of all places. The end result was a bowl of satisfyingly, cream rice and vegetables with bags of flavour. Risottos are not only simple to make but are incredibly versatile. So long as I have Arborio rice, onion, garlic and stock cubes in my store cupboards (homemade stock in the freezer is good if I have time but by no means essential) I know I can always easily rustle up a deliciously, simple supper from the contents of the fridge or freezer. For convenience I like to have a supply of frozen white wine in the freezer for tossing in to dishes such as risottos. I also usually have bags of roasted butternut squash in chunks (that I have prepared and roasted previously) portioned up in the freezer so that I don’t have to roast a squash just to make a risotto.

Jamie Oliver has many inspiring and tasty recipes for risottos on his website and in his books. Having mastered his basic risotto recipe and tweaked it a little to suit me, I now keep to this basic recipe and play around with the flavours. Feeling inspired after starting this blog, last night I decided to play around with my basic butternut squash risotto. First I decided to replace the white onion with a red onion and after finding a couple of butternut squash and gorgonzola recipes on the internet (here, here and here) I decided to give it a go. My boyfriend is a huge fan of gorgonzola (and cheese in general!) so not surprisingly there was not much left but not to be deterred I decided that I would try anyway. I followed my basic recipe adding the butternut squash with the last ladle of stock. Once the rice was cooked I removed the pan from the heat and added a few small knobs of butter, approx 8 cubes of gorgonzola around 1cm square and a handful of grated parmesan, covered and allowed them all to melt into the rice for about 5 mins. Inspired by Oprah’s recipe I also decided to top each bowl with a scattering of chopped toasted pecans. The end result was a deliciously creamy risotto, with plenty of flavour and an enjoyable contrast in textures. I am not a big fan of gorgonzola on its own but I decided to try cooking with it as one of my favourite raviolis fillings is walnut and gorgonzola. So don’t be put off if you don’t think you like it. When used as part of a dish in small amounts mingling with other flavours the end result is yummy!





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