Basic Squash Risotto

Risotto is a great meal for little ones as you can chuck just about any vegetable in and coupled with the creamy taste and texture of the rice you have a winner!  Some people find it a little daunting but this recipe is extremely straight forward and requires very little attention and minimal stirring. I cook the butternut two ways which makes the final dish more interesting texturally for both kids and adults! 

BLW Tip: blitz the cooked risotto down for 30 seconds and mould into small balls for little hands to grab hold of.

Serves 2 adults and 1-2 small children

500g prepped and diced butternut squash

600ml vegetable stock

3 garlic cloves, peeled but kept whole

50g butter

150g arborio rice

1 small onion, finely diced

50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

for the roasted butternut:

400g prepped and diced butternut squash

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt, optional

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

In a large saucepan place the butternut, stock and garlic. Bring to the boil and cook for 20minutes or until the butternut can easily be pierced with a cutlery knife. 

Meanwhile, place the butternut for roasting in a medium ovenproof dish and drizzle over the oil, salt (if using) and a good grinding of black pepper. Place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until tender and golden. 

Check your stock/butternut mixture after 20 minutes- the butternut should be easily 'pierceable'  with a cutlery knife. Remove into a blender and blitz into a smooth liquid. Place the empty saucepan back on the heat and melt 30g butter before adding the rice and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the blitzed butternut stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it catching. After this time, add the parmesan, roasted butternut and remaining 20g butter. Turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes to allow everything to melt in. Serve immediately with plenty of extra Parmesan.

just for adults? add 1/4 tsp salt and a sprinkling of fresh thyme to the final risotto.