Silky squash risotto

Silky squash risotto


  • 1 butternut or acorn squash , (1.2kg)
  • 1 bunch of fresh marjoram , (20g)
  • olive oil
  • 1.2 litres quality vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 300 g Arborio risotto rice
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 200 g Tenderstem broccoli
  • ½ a lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
Preparation time:

1 hour 20 minutes

Portions: 4
Difficulty: Media


Silky squash risotto


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Scrub the squash (there’s no need to peel it), carefully halve it lengthways and deseed, then chop into 2cm chunks.
  2. Place the squash in a roasting tray, pick and chop most of the marjoram leaves, then toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 1 hour, or until soft and caramelised.
  3. With 20 minutes to go on the squash, simmer the stock over a low heat. Peel and finely chop the onion and celery, then place in a high-sided pan on a medium heat with ½ a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring regularly, then stir in the rice to toast for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock and wait until it’s been fully absorbed before adding another, stirring constantly and adding ladlefuls of stock until the rice is cooked – it will need 16 to 18 minutes.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and mash up with a fork – I like to do half smashed and leave half chunky, then stir through the risotto about halfway through.
  6. Meanwhile, trim the broccoli, halving any larger stalks lengthways to help it cook evenly. Steam for 2 minutes, or until just cooked but still full of colour, then toss with the lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and season to perfection.
  7. When the risotto is done, add enough extra stock or boiling kettle water to make the risotto oozy, then finely grate in the Parmesan, and beat in with the butter.
  8. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and leave to relax for 2 minutes. Stir, season to perfection, then divide between your plates.
  9. Pick over the remaining marjoram and serve topped with the broccoli. Lovely.

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