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At this in-between time of year when you’re not quite sure if it will rain or be 30 degrees, it’s hard to decide whether to eat soup or salad. Thats when I find it’s the best time to make a lovely, spunky risotto. With fresh herbs and ingredients plus warm and comforting flavours, it’s the best of both worlds.

Roast Butternut Risotto with Blue Cheese and Vegetable Crisps
Serves 4  


  • 1 small butternut, peeled and cubed
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a dash extra
  • 1 tbsp butter*
  • 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup  dry white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 60g of butter, cold and cubed
  • 60-100g of blue cheese (to taste)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • grated parmesan
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • vegetable crisps, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Toss the butternut in a little of the olive oil and the cayenne pepper, season with salt and place on a baking tray. Add the whole garlic cloves, in their skins, to the tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until crispy.

Place a medium sized saucepan over a low-moderate heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter and allow it to melt. Add the chopped up onion and saute until lightly coloured. Pour the aborio rice into the pan and coat well in the butter and oil. Fry for an addition two minutes or until the rice appears glassy.

Now add the wine and begin stirring with a wooden spoon. It is important for you to stir continuously and evenly albeit a slow/relaxed speed. Stir until the wine is absorbed. Stir in the stock one ladleful at a time and stir each spoon until completely absorbed. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.

Once all the stock has been added and you are happy with the consistency of the risotto remove it from the heat and allow it to stand for one minute. While you are waiting, skin the garlic cloves and mush them a little with your thumb.

Stir in the butter, desired amount of blue cheese and garlic cloves. Cover the pot and allow it to stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Lastly sprinkle on the roasted butternut, season with parsley, salt and pepper and serve with the vegetable crisps.


For a vegan version substitute the butter with soy margarine and the blue cheese with a dairy free alternative “cheese” with blue-cheese style flavouring (available at supermarkets and health stores). 




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