There’s a few principles I follow when it comes to food. The first is, everything in moderation, and the second is no food is a bad food! I think it’s so damaging when we label things as good/bad, cheat food, naughty food, guilty pleasure/guilt free… the list goes on. Anytime I’ve taken this approach in the past, I end up wanting that food more and overeating!! I think it’s really difficult – particularly in London where everywhere you look there’s constant reminders of what the ‘right’ thing is you should be eating – to know what is healthy, and what isn’t. So, my approach is that FOOD is healthy. As long as you know where it’s come from and you can identify it as ‘food’ (no processed complicated words please) then it’s as simple as that. Eat intuitively, listen to your body, and if you want that piece of cake, then have the damn cake!
So without further ado, let’s dive into the good stuff. This insanely delicious, rich, and creamy risotto is a comfort food winner, and packed full of flavour and veggies. It might be summer outside, but this with a crisp sharp green salad is a 10/10 any time of the year.
Ingredients (4 people)
1 cup of risotto rice (I used arborio)
A pint of vegetable stock
Good quality extra virgin olive oil and good quality real butter
A diced white onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped/mashed
A glass of white wine (+ one for the risotto 😉)
500g of roughly chopped mushrooms (I used a mix of button chesnut and portabello)
A handful of grated parmesan
Ready diced butternut squash (about half a squash)
A large handful of spinach
Salt & pepper
Chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and small knob of butter in a large heavy based pan. Before it gets too hot, add the diced onion.
- When this onion is browning nicely, turn the heat down and add the chopped garlic. Stir for about a minute and when you can smell the garlic strongly then it’s done (fun fact: garlic has quite a high sugar content so it cooks quickly and it’s easy to burn/overcook).
- Add the risotto rice and stir to coat it in the onion, garlic and oil. Fry for a couple more minutes until it’s all coated.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the white wine. Stir until the alcohol has boiled off and the liquid is absorbed.
- Now, it’s time to add the stock. Turn the heat back down to med-low. Do this slowly, stirring continuously, without adding too much in one go. Let the liquid be absorbed fully before adding the next glug.
- Meanwhile cook your butternut squash. I was short of time so just popped it ready-diced in the microwave, but you could roast, steam or simply boil.
- Back to the risotto stirring: do a taste test – you want al dente not mushy. When it’s how you like it add the spinach, parmesan and chopped mushrooms. Season well with pepper and a tiny bit of salt (there’s lots in the cheese!).
- Once this is all stirred in, add the butternut squash and it should be looking good to go! This risotto is heavy on the veg and lighter on the rice so make sure you’ve god a big enough pan to start with!
- Serve in pasta dishes and either go solo or add a crisp green salad on the side.
- Finally, add the chopped melty gorgonzola and parsley and ENJOY!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I’m a newbie to writing these things down and tend to throw things in intuitively when I cook, so I’d really appreciate any feedback you have!