Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

 I am obsessed with squash at the moment, like really really obsessed. It’s such an amazing autumnal dish, so perfectly warming and comforting for the cold weather. The flavours and textures are great here. I love how the bite sized cubes of cumin and paprika roasted squash melt against the creamy risotto in each mouthful. The spices really serve to give the dish such a beautifully deep, rich flavour, while the addition of apple cider vinegar and a little lemon ensure a tanginess that intensifies all the existing aromas.

Serves 4:

– 2 large butternut squash (2kg)

– 3/4 of a cup of brown rice (200g)

– 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional)

– 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

– a handful of fresh coriander

– 1 tablespoon of tahini

– 2 teaspoons of paprika

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– 1 lemon

– olive oil

– salt & pepper to taste

Start by cooking the rice, this will take about forty five minutes. Once you put the rice in the pot with the boiling water add the salt, a drizzling of apple cider vinegar and a sprinkling of dried herbs to add some flavour. You’ll need to continue stirring the rice and adding more boiling water occasionally as it cooks, just make sure the rice never runs out of water until it is cooked.

While the rice cooks chop the squash into bite-sized squares, cutting off the skin as you go. Then places the squares onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Bake this at 190C for about 15 minutes, until the cubes are perfectly soft and delicious. Roasting the squash really brings out the flavour, making it much more delicious than it it was steamed.

Then put three quarters of the squash into a blender of food processor with about a quarter of a cup of water plus the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, tahini, salt and lemon. Blend until a smooth creamy consistency forms.

Once the rice is about 5 minutes away from being cooked, and there is very little to no water left, stir in the creamy squash mix. Then add the remaining pieces of squash and a handful of finely chopped coriander. Then enjoy!