Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Butternut Squash Risotto with Stilton

Marks and Spencer's is renown for their suggestive food comercials. Close up shots of food being chopped and thrown into a simmering pan in slow motion while a woman's sexy voice narrates: "Light, crispy, butter-rich puff pastry cases, packed with British pork and seasoned with sautéed onions and fresh thyme, make a great party piece." (would you have guessed that this is describing cocktail wieners?)

The latest food porn commercial is a guy explaining to his mates how to make his delicious Butternut Squash Risotto with Stilton- leaving out the bit about buying it from Marks and Sparks. The kicker is that the bloke actually outlines how to make it at home, so anyone who can turn on their electric burner, doesn't actually have to succumb to M&S food. So here's how to dress up a classic risotto just in time for Autumn.
Start off by peeling and cubing 1 small butternut squash or about half of a large one. I had a large one so I peeled, cubed and roasted all of it an used half in the risotto.

Put your diced squash into a roasting tin and add a salt, pepper, a gulp of olive oil and if you have- some sage. Roast for about 21 minutes, mixing it up every 7 minutes until very tender and a little golden brown.

Meanwhile, start our risotto off by chopping 1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic

Heat a large saucepan with a glug of Olive Oil and add in your onion and garlic, cooking until tender and translucent. Then add your arobrio rice and cook for about 2 minutes to lock in some flavour.

You will have of course already have a separate pot simmering away with 1 cup of white wine and about 6 cups of chicken stock. So add a large ladle full of the hot brew to your rice.

Now just keep stirring your risotto until all the broth is absorbed.

The add another large ladle of the broth and cook it down until absorbed- add another ladle etc. Until the rice is tender and has plumped up to about 3 times its original size.

Once the risotto is cooked through, fold in the butternut squash.

Then add in about 1/3 cup of crumbled Stilton

Mix it all up careful. Sprinkle on some more Stilton and die of Autumnal bliss.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Stilton

  • 1/2 of a large butternut squash
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 Large yellow onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1. 5 cups of Arborio or Risotto Rice
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups of white wine (whatever is lying around)
  • 1 cup of Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup Stilton + more for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and dice your butternut squash. Place in a roasting pan and toss with Olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the squash for about 21 minutes, checking and tossing every 7 minutes until very tender and golden brown.

In a large saucepan melt the butter and add in the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent- about 5 minutes. In another saucepan mix the chicken broth and white wine and bring to a slow simmer. Add the arborio rice to the onions and garlic and stir to combine for about 3 minutes until you know the rice is infused with that wonderful flavour. Add a cup of the liquid and stir. Now you basically get to stand at the pot stirring, which when I first started was my absolute (and still sorta is) my favorite part of cooking. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add another cup and just keep stirring! Keep adding the liquid until your rice is tender and then add the Parmesan. Next fold in the butternut squash and Stilton.

Sprinkle on extra Stilton to taste.

To serve the risotto always remember to serve from the outside of the dish towards the center so that the middle will stay warm and gooey.


  1. I can't wait for my personal chef, Kris to cook this for me! This young man knows his way around the kitchen! He also cleans, which I didn't think he knew how. On top of everything else he does yard work!! You sent back a new Kris, a great Kris!! A funny Kris!! He is cooking dinner for me on the 14th for 20 people..We miss you!!!

  2. oh my goodness claire, this looks fabulous! i cannot wait to try it. i just know it will taste wonderful especially on a cold day *smile*. looooove and miss you so very vey vey much! hope all is well.

  3. Just tried your recipe and it was del-icsh, I had leftover stilton from Christmas that needed using up, and a risotto never occured to me! Mmmm well this will be a brill midweek supper! By the way I was short of time so did the squash on the hob in a covered pan for 10 mins instead of the oven and it worked fine.