Tag Archives: butternut squash

Roasted Squash & Blue Cheese Risotto

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For some reason risotto has never really appealed to me. This recipe has made me change my mind. And look, two posts in two days! Shocking.

Serves 4-5, or 2 with plenty of leftovers!

Ingredients

1 medium-large butternut squash, cubed (2cm)
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
1.2l vegetable stock
150ml white wine
100-150g blue cheese (we used Danish Blue)
few sprigs of rosemary
1 cup of peas
salt, pepper, basil, oregano

Method

Heat the oven to (200°C/400°F/gas mark 6). Coat the bottom of a roasting tin with some oil, couple of sprigs of rosemary and a sprinkling of black pepper. Add the butternut squash and turn over to coat. Stick in for 20 minutes or so, giving a good shufty every now and again.

Meanwhile heat up a tablespoon of oil in a deep pan. Gently soften the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Stir often so that the onions do not brown. Add the rice and stir well, the rice needs to just gently heat up before you can add the liquid. Stick the kettle on to boil and make up the vegetable stock. After 2 minutes, add the wine – stir well to allow the rice to soak it all up. As the pan dries out somewhat, add a small amount of the stock (around 100-200mls at a time). Wait for the liquid to be nearly all soaked up then add another 100-200ml.

Keep adding stock like this and stir frequently. After half the stock has been added, throw in the herbs. After around 20 minutes, check to see if the rice is soft. Turn off the oven, take out the butternut squash and mash half, returning the other half to the oven to keep warm. Stir in the mashed butternut squash, peas, most of the cheese and heat thorough – you may need a drop more water depending on how saucy you like your risottos. If the rice needs a bit more time to cook, carry on adding small amounts of hot water until cooked, before adding the squash, peas and cheese. Don’t be afraid of adding more water if necessary – it’s really important not to let the risotto boil dry.

Serve in a bowl with a few cubes of butternut squash and crumble over the rest of the cheese. Enjoy your warming winter grub!

Picture to follow…!

J

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Feta and Roasted Vegetable Bulghar-Wheat Salad

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This tasty salad makes a nice change from the old ham sandwiches. It’s really easy to make and lasts all week so I tend to make a huge tub of it on a Sunday and it will keep until Friday – not that it ever really lasts that long. It looks really posh too.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 butternut squash, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1/2 courgette, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1-2 cm cubes
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup of bulghar wheat
1 vegetable stock cube
handful spinach, chopped
100g feta
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 160*C whilst you prepare the vegetables. Throw them into a bowl and coat well in the sunflower oil. Add a teaspoon of each of the herbs and put on a baking tray in the oven to roast for 40-50 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, add the bulghar wheat to the a bowl and cover with two cups of boiling water. Add the stock cube and stir well. Cover with clingfilm and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

When the bulghar wheat has soaked up the water, add the vegetables to it. Leave to cool before crumbling over the feta, adding the herbs and adding the chopped spinach. Chop the tomatoes and add to the salad. Season well and store in the fridge.

Lovely Jubbly Vegetable Curry

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Let’s face facts, vegetable curry sounds boring – I had to change the title in an attempt to stop people just skipping over this recipe. I hope it worked because it is simply not the case. This curry is bloody scrummy and, I can honestly say as a full-on flesh-loving carnivore, would not be improved by the presence of meat. (Which is great if you’re a student, looking to save a few pennies).

Stolen almost ingredient-atim from The Hairy Bikers Ride Again cookbook. There are a lot of ingredients here, but you could easily cut out half/add other vegetables in and please don’t let it put you off. For example, bulking up with potatoes would make it go further on a lower budget and, despite the ingredient list length, this is very easy to do; it’s literally: add ingredients, cook, stir, add ingredients, cook, stir etc. Simple!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 large onions, red or white
½ large butternut squash, chopped (2×2 cm)
1 large sweet potato, chopped (2x2cm)
3 medium carrots, chopped, (1x1cm)
½ cauliflower, in small florets
2 courgettes, chopped into rounds
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 bowl peas
100ml coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Spices

2-3 chillis (leave whole)
2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, finely chopped
handful curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds, slightly crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp sugar
fresh coriander to finish

Method

Heat some oil in a deep pan/casserole dish, add the onions and sweat until translucent (approx. 5 minutes). Add the turmeric, curry leaves, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and curry powder, cook for a couple more minutes then add the sweet potato, butternut squash, chickpeas, garlic, ginger and whole chillis. Stir continuously, ensuring an even coating of spices throughout.

After 5 minutes add the carrot, stock, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and sugar, give a right old stir, stick the lid on and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cauliflower, lid back on and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring every now and again, before throwing in the courgettes, then a couple of minutes later the peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper and any other spices you may fancy.

Make sure everything is heated through, your sweet potato, squash and carrot are all tender and your sauce is well-reduced.

Serve, sprinkled with fresh coriander, with naan-breads – shop bought, or preferably homemade (they’re easy!)

Vegetable Parathas

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Paratha, as the Hairy Bikers reliably inform me, is a type of Indian flat-bread, usually stuffed with vegetables. I took their recipe and edited it slightly but credit must go mainly to them. I made far too much (which I guess isn’t a bad thing as they’re damn tasty) so I’ve slimmed down my quantities here. This would work with various spice mixes so if you don’t have all the ingredients feel free to mix and match, swap them in and out till your heart’s content! The filling is also perfectly serviceable on its own. I did this over two nights, making the veg mix first then the bread dough the next day.

Serves 5 (at a guess)

Vegetable Filling

Ingredients

1 large, old potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 large sweet potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
½ butternut squash, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 carrot, chopped into 1cm cubes
1 cup peas
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 little finger sized piece fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp powder)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin (crushed seeds, or powder)
handful fresh curry leaves, roughly chopped
handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime

Method

Apologies for all that chopping – you’re probably worn out by now. I know I was. Anyway, put the potato on the boil, then after a few minutes add the carrot, sweet potato and squash. Leave to simmer and have a power-nap. Or don’t, that could be dangerous…

Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan and when ‘ot throw in your onion, garlic and ginger. You’re aiming to sweat the onions rather than caramelise them so don’t have the oil too ‘ot. When starting to soften add the turmeric, chilli powder, ground coriander and cumin and cook for a further few minutes before adding the curry leaves and fresh coriander. When cooked through, turn down to as low as heat as possible to keep warm without cooking any further.

Stab the fattest cubes of potato, squash etc to check they are cooked though – slightly firm is preferable to too squishy. If cooked, drain and roughly mash to taste. I added a couple of teaspoons of butter, a glug of milk, a few twists of pepper and a pinch of salt and mashed roughly making sure not to leave any too large pieces. Throw in the onion mix and peas, squeeze in the lime and give a good smush around. And there you have it, some awesome Indian-inspired mash. Cover and stick in the fridge

Bread Dough

Ingredients

400g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
200ml milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
pinch of chilli powder
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Find yourself a large mixing bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Whisk up the egg, with a pinch salt and dash of pepper and stir into the mix with a wooden spoon. Add the milk slowly – 20ml at a time, until the dough starts to come together. If you add too much the dough will become too sticky and hard to work with. If this happens, as it did with me, add flour a little bit at a time until the dough is less ‘wet’. Add all the spices then work roughly (either with a spoon, or better, with your hands) for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile fetch your spice-tastic mash. I heated mine on a low power in a microwave for several minutes, until it was warm all the way through.

When the dough has rested, flour a work surface and pull golfball-sized clumps off the doughball. Pat down onto the flour, then flip over and do the same. Roll out with a rolling pin to pound coin thickness – it should make a 10cm (ish) round. Add a couple of spoonfuls of mash to the centre (leave a wide margin around the edge) top with some raw spring onion rings  then bring the edges of the pastry up and roughly twist over the top to seal (sort of) the paratha. Flip over and gently roll out  again, until about 1cm thick. I recommend making a few (2-3 per person) before cooking.

Heat some oil wayyy hot in a frying pan. Place as many parathas as you can comfortably fit in the oil, twisted-side down and cook until brown (a couple of minutes). Flip over and repeat. Serve with a simple salad. No pictures of these I’m afraid (sadface) but I do have a beautiful picture of my chopped veg:

J