Friday, June 11, 2010

Simple suppers...

Butternut squash was sold at my local Waitrose supermarket in London - it came with a large sticker with the cooking suggestion, "CUT INTO CHUNKS AND BOIL."  Good heavens, please don't. Anything but that. Unless you're seven months old.

It should have said "cut into chunks and ROAST." There is nothing better than roasting any pumpkin with a whole head of garlic, pepper and a generous drizzling of olive oil. Flakes of dried chilli are good too.

If you're feeling lazy then soup is a lovely option, cook off some garlic and leek, add chunks of roasted sweet butternut and vegetable stock, a smidge of curry powder - cook until soft and then whizz.

A great midweek meal is cheat's risotto.  Baked not stirred.  I do love making a traditional stirred risotto just not on a Thursday night after wrestling two children to bed.

This is fabulously easy and tastes good. Very good. You just have to give it a very hard stir for two minutes or so at the end to get that oozy risotto texture.

For 2 people...
  • Small butternut squash 
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups hot vegetable/chicken stock
  • 40g butter
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
First roast squash with half a head of garlic, olive oil and pepper.
Put it in an ovenproof dish that seals well with a lid along with the rice and hot stock and butter. Squeeze out the roasted garlic and add it too.
Cook at 200 °C  for about 25 minutes until the rice is soft but still wet.
Add about a third of a cup of grated parmesan and stir madly for a minute or two. The pumpkin will mash together and the risotto will become thick and creamy.

Really rather easy and really rather good. Sometimes my passion for cooking has to come second to a need for a simple midweek dinner.


  1. That is a cheat's risotto! Where have I been to have missed this recipe? So much easier than stirrring after each cup full of stock. I will try it.

  2. yes I love roasted pumpkin too. I must try that risotto for myself.

    Glad you enjoyed Melbourne and yes you can eat out a lot but unfortunately with little children I find I am 'stuck' at home more often than I would like. xoxo

  3. Comfort food at its best! I'm going to try your recipe this weekend - it looks delicious.

  4. My project this year is to find ten no fail dinner recipes to perfect and know by heart, so that I can just whack them in the oven without having to get out the recipe books. (Ten you ask? Well, yes - I am a dismal cook who only really has spag bol under control!!) I tried your risotto last week and it has now become one of the ten - especially because I have tried the stir-intensive kind and always seem to muck it up!! Am making this again tonight with the addition of chorizo for a bit of spice. Thanks for the great recipe.


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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