I was wondering around all the stunning organic produce at a local farmers market recently when I came across a box of gorgeous mini squashes. They were a fabulous variety of colours, shapes and sizes and they perfectly optimized this amazing autumnal season for me. This is such a romantic time of year for me, as it always reminds me of when my husband and I first started courting in October four years ago. Long walks wrapped up in chunky scarves and jumpers, warm autumnal soups, watching fireworks and cuddling up while it’s cold outside.
Because of all these happy memories, I always get so nostalgic when it starts getting cold and I start making dishes that remind me of that magical time.
This risotto is bold delicate and hearty. It has the lovely Mediterranean touch of oregano and while being all about autumnal squash, adding colour and healing health to these cold and blustery months. Oregano has the highest antioxidant levels of all fresh herbs, so will help bolster your health while the squash is full of vitamin A and C as well as many beneficial minerals.
Enjoy this on a blustery, cold afternoon with with loved ones after a walk or before watching the fireworks.
300g Organic brown arborio rice
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 small autumn squash or pumpkin
600g of vegetable stock
4 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 sprigs fresh oregano
1 pinch Celtic grey salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1. preheat the oven to 210C
2. cut the small squash into wedges and drizzle with olive oil and a small sprinkling of salt, put in the oven for 30 minutes until soft and slightly bronzed
3. in the meantime, put the vegetable stock in a pot, then bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer
4. heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat, add the shallots and stir until translucent and soft
5. add the rice and stir to cover the rice in oil until its glossy (about 5 minutes)
6. begin to add the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously. Each time the pan begins to dry slightly add another ladle of stock. Keep repeating this until all the stock is gone and the rice is cooked. This will take between 30-40 minutes
7. add the salt, pepper and thyme by running your fingers down the stalk of the thyme letting the leaves drop into the risotto and stir.
8. remove the squash from the oven and chop into small-ish chunks, then add them to the risotto and stir them in
9. serve in warm bowls.