Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Onion Squash and Blue Cheese Risotto

What is it about a squash that makes you warm from the inside out as you enjoy its beautiful sweet flesh. It could be the bright orange colour, a welcome sight amidst all the greens and browns of autumn. It could be the way it goes with pretty much everything: it can be soup, stew, curry, pudding; the list is endless, although I've not heard of anyone making squash gin or squash vodka. I had heard that the onion squash was the nicest of all the squashes as it has the most flavour. For me I think it is the sweetest and brightest of the lot.
I find that a butternut squash is a bit too much squash for two no matter how big a fan you are of this bulbous vegetable but the onion squash is just right. I made a beeline straight for it when I saw it poking out of the box at the farmers' market. I also couldn't resist some of the gooiest, creamiest most sumptuous of blue cheeses. These two would pair up in a heavenly autumnal risotto. 
When I make risotto I cannot stand a meagre portion. What's the point? I want mountains of rice and so I normally go for 250g rice for two people. First of all cut the squash into wedges which I have to say is easier to manage than a butternut squash simply because it is smaller. Put the wedges on a roasting tray, bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and as many cloves of garlic as you can spare. This roasts away merrily in the oven while you crack on with the rest of the risotto.
Get some chicken or vegetable stock on the hob to warm up for later. Chop an onion and a clove of garlic and fry gently in olive oil for 10-15 minutes until soft then add in the rice. Fry over a high heat so the rice can absorb some of the oil; have some on standby in case the rice starts to catch. Chuck in a glass of white wine and let it reduce. Add a ladleful of stock at a time and stir into the rice. Keep going until the rice is cooked but still has a little bite. I find it can take anywhere between 500-800ml stock.
When the rice is done, turn the heat off and put the lid on. Strip the squash from the skin and mix it into the risotto. Add a good knob of butter and crumble in as much blue cheese as you like. I have to admit I used the whole wedge; some to melt through the risotto and some for the top.
Having the squash and blue cheese within the risotto gives it a nice background of sweet and savoury but when you sink your teeth through a chunk of squash or a lump of cheese it's smack you in the face flavour. The squash turns the risotto a glorious yellow colour which couldn't fail to cheer you up even after the most miserable, rainy autumn day. Sat down with a plate of food the colour of a canary with bold flavours and exciting textures; this one's a keeper.

18 comments:

  1. Mmmm... must seek out onion squash. I had onion squash soup at a cafe the other day and misread it as onion-and-squash soup.

    Tip! I read a risotto recipe once that used a glass of dry vermouth (e.g. Noilly Prat) instead of wine. I've used that ever since.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The squash and blue cheese seem to be a flavorful combination, great recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks lovely - I'm a big fan of squash and cheese risotto, though I normally use goat's cheese. Adding a bit of crispy bacon at the end is delicious too. I'm impressed you can manage 125g of rice per person though! I normally use 80g and I have a HUGE appetite...!

    ReplyDelete
  4. A perfect marriage of textures and flavours, c'est parfait!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I need to find onion squash so I can make this lovely risotto. Delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful! Really lovely dish.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Autumn on a plate. Love the blue cheese squash combo. Must look out for some onion squash.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Am drooling, really in love with your risotto!

    Will have to seek out an onion squash, agree some of them are a bit to big especially as its only little old me to cook for!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Basically anything that uses blue cheese is good for me. And I adore risotto so this sounds amazing... x

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is such a great recipe. I don't see a lot of recipes for risotto. I'm glad to see one. Plus, it's using seasonal ingredients!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a sucker for risotto, great recipe! Love the combination of flavors, they complement one another well. Enjoy the rest of your weekend =]

    ReplyDelete
  12. This looks absolutely delicious! Haven't heard of onion squash here in the states, but I'll be sure to look for it now. Great juxtaposition of flavors: the sweet squash, bite of the blue...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I absolutely love this recipe! Perfect for a cold autumn day <3

    ReplyDelete
  14. omg this sounds INCREDIBLE. i set out to try another 'onion squash risotto' recipe but can't find the onion squash where i live so i'm improvising. but this combo with the blue cheese sounds absolutely divine. i'll give that a go next time around, whenever it manages to cool off enough in these parts (so. california)

    ReplyDelete
  15. can you recommend a substitute for the onion squash? i'm trying something called a red curry squash (which i think is called that b/c of its color). i'm guessing this recipe would do well with any mildly sweet squash to play off the salty blue cheese. but if you can suggest an alternative to onion squash, that would be great! thx!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Kimberly, thanks for your comment. Any squash would work really!

    ReplyDelete
  17. As much garlic as I can spare?.... I work on a garlic farm.... ;-)

    Delicious!!

    ReplyDelete

Do let me know your thoughts