When I saw that this week's Recipe Shed theme was 'vegetarian', I knew it would be rude of me not to take part. This recipe is one of our favourite meals, we don't normally have it with blue cheese but I have some in the fridge which is in danger of being more blue than cheese, so I'm bunging that in too!
Depending upon which degree of vegetarianism you subscribe to, this may need altering to suit your requirements. For example, I have a Bachelors in Vegetarianism: I don't eat meat or fish, but don't sift through the cheeses to find rennet-free types in the supermarket. Life's too short to stuff a mushroom, ya'know. If you have a Masters in Vegetarianism, then you may want to substitute the single cream for something like Alpro Soya, likewise the cheese. If you have an HND in being a Veggie, then you need to realise that eating fish makes the rest of us have to say "no, I don't eat fish because I'm a vegetarian!" so thanks for that!
- handful of mushrooms
- one leek
- 2 handfuls of arborio rice per person
- half a butternut squash
- a stock cube
- 2 (ish) pints of hot water
- 100ml of Single cream
- blue cheese
- unsalted butter
1. Cut the butternut squash up into small chunks and cook for ten minutes in 2 pints of hot water and a stock cube.
2. While that's bubbling away, thinly slice the mushrooms and leeks. As The Boy is sharing this with us, I cut the leeks up very small. As neither of us like the texture of mushrooms then these also go very small. Sweat them down in a generous knob of butter.
3. After five minutes, add the rice to the pan of butter, mushrooms and leeks. I can't remember why, I think it's something to do with coating and sealing each grain of rice with the butter, but I could be making that up! Leave it for a minute or two, stirring halfway through.
4. Transfer two ladles of stock (not the butternut squash though) into the pan with the rice and stir through. This initial water will disappear quickly so give it a stir and add some more.
5. This is the bit which requires constant attention and judgement. The risotto will need stirring every minute or two to stop it sticking, and the second the water has been absorbed into the rice, you need to add another ladle of stock. This is why I am typing this up on the iPod Touch while I'm busy watching the rice (in fact, I was so busy explaining then I forgot to stir and my rice stuck in one section!). This will take about twenty minutes on a low heat. You might need all the stock, you might not. Transfer the butternut squash across at the end.
6. When the risotto has plumped up and absorbed most of the liquid (apart from a small amount around the sides), taste it to check. It should have a small bite to it and not be slushy. However, chewy risotto isn't right so possibly add a bit more water and cook it for a few minutes longer.
7. Add the single cream and the cheese and stir through. Keep on the heat for a further minute to make sure the heat has melted the cheese.
8. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan on top.
Pop over to Reluctant Housedad's Recipe Shed to check out the other veggie delights by pressing this linky doo-dah malarky!