It’s the season for warm comforting dishes to get us through these dark cosy months. Butternut squash and pumpkins are a popular choice at this time of year. And this dish can be used with either, because if you’re anything like me you have some pumpkins leftover from Halloween last week.
Of course I plan on making the classic butternut squash soup but I wanted to try something a little different. Risotto is a great weeknight meal and is so comforting in the winter. Although risotto can take a little longer than some dishes, it’s a great dish to have blipping on the stove and come back to whilst you get on with other jobs.
I was inspired by a recipe from Gennaro Contaldo on YouTube and as always put my own spin on it. Instead of roasting my butternut squash in the oven, I roasted mine in my new air fryer.
With energy prices soaring through the roof, air fryers are all the rage right now. They are a fantastic solution to using less energy but still achieve great results. If I was to roast my butternut squash in my conventional oven, I would have to preheat it for at least 15 minutes and then roast the pumpkin for about 45 minutes, totalling an hour.
I managed to roast my butternut squash in my air fryer in 25 minutes and it came out nice and soft on the inside and charred on the edges. What’s not to love?
Whilst this was roasting away, I prepared my risotto. I chopped up onions, garlic and sage, keeping aside a few sage leaves for garnish. I also roasted the seeds from the butternut squash in a frying pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I would have done these in the air fryer too but was afraid of them blowing around like a mini hurricane and exploding.
After I sautéed the onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes, I added my risotto rice and toasted it for further minute or so. Then I added my vegetable stock slowly, ladle by ladle for about 15-20 minutes until the risotto was creamy. When the butternut squash was done, I added a few small chunks to the risotto so it would infuse the flavour.
I fried a few sage leaves in olive oil until crispy and put these aside. I added a knob of butter and a good grating of parmesan cheese to the risotto but this is optional if you want to keep it vegan. Once my risotto was done, I dished it up and placed some roasted butternut squash on top, alongside the seeds and crispy sage leaves. Drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, it was ready to serve. And I can safely say it went down a treat, especially with my husband who normally likes a chicken and mushroom risotto.
Here’s the link to my Salter air fryer, it really does work wonders. Do you have any butternut squash/pumpkin recipes? I still have lots of pumpkin leftover and I put half of my butternut squash in the freezer. Ideas are welcome!
P.S Shout out to my husband Jayesh for modelling for me and putting up with my craziness. I’ll pay you in food.
My name is Bhavisha Surti and I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please subscribe to my blog below and check out my website to see more of my work at www.jbimagery.co.uk. Thank you!