Goat’s cheese and butternut squash risotto

A quick and impressive dinner party dish

• 400g risotto rice

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

• 1 tsp chopped thyme

• 75ml olive oil

• 330ml wheat beer

• 1.5 litres chicken or veg stock

• 1 large butternut squash

• 75g unsalted butter

• 250g goat’s cheese

• 75g freshly grated parmesan

Serves 4

1) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

2) Peel the squash and cut in half length-wise. Scrape out the seeds from the bulbous end and slice this part thinly.

3) Dice the rest of the squash into approximately 1cm cubes.

4) To make the purée, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add the sliced squash. Gently cook for a few minutes and then add 150ml of the beer. Cook gently until the squash is very soft – this should take 20-25 mins.

5) If the pan is going dry, add a little water. When the squash is cooked, blend to a purée. Add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside to cool.

6) While the purée is cooking, roast the cubed squash in the pre-heated oven. Spread the squash on a baking tray in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until tender, but not mushy (about 15-20 mins).

7) To make the risotto, bring the stock to a low simmer. In another, heavy-based saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and gently cook the onion, garlic and thyme until soft.

8) Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the remainder of the wheat beer and stir until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed. Add a couple of ladles of stock and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

9) Repeat this process until the rice is cooked to ‘al-dente’ (with a soft bite). This should take about 15 minutes.

10) About 2-3 minutes before the rice is completely cooked, stir in the squash purée and crumble in the goat’s cheese.

11) Meanwhile, re-heat the squash cubes and add the parmesan to the risotto. To serve, garnish the risotto with the cubes of squash and some shaved fresh Parmesan. Serve with glasses of chilled wheat beer: delicious!

Par-cooking tip

1) Make the purée and roast squash up to a day before. Cook the risotto according to the method above until the point of being al dente.

2) Immediately remove from the heat and spread out over a flat surface in order to cool quickly and evenly. Refrigerate all the cooked ingredients until required.

3) To serve, simply add a ladle of stock, or water, to a pan, add the risotto and heat through. When it’s hot, add the purée, re-heat the cubes in the oven, add the grated Parmesan and serve.

Recipe courtesy of www.foxfoodandbeer.co.uk

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