As well as being sweet and delicious, butternut squash is packed with vitamins and minerals, adding an extra health kick to this tasty vegetarian dinner.
1 large butternut squash, cut into large chunks, seeds removed
3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
A few sprigs of thyme, plus 1 tbsp chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-1/2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-1/4 cups Arborio risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups good-quality vegetable stock
Handful of freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
Handful of toasted pine nuts, to serve
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 390°F.
Step 2: Place the butternut squash in a large bowl then crush in 1–2 garlic cloves, drizzle with olive oil, throw in the thyme sprigs and season well. Mix thoroughly, making sure the squash gets a good covering of oil and the garlic is well distributed.
Step 3: Put the mixture in a large roasting tray and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges of the squash begin to brown.
Step 4: Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before scraping the flesh away from the skin into a bowl, removing any thyme twigs. Scrape any sticky juices left in the tray into the bowl and mash the squash. Keep warm while making the risotto.
Step 5: Heat the olive oil and a large knob of butter in a heavy-based saucepan or sauté pan then add the onion and gently fry until softened, about 2 minutes. Crush in 2 garlic cloves and gently fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir well so the grains become coated in the butter and oil. Pour in the wine and stir well until absorbed. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until absorbed. Keep the pan simmering while gradually adding more stock and continuing to stir, until the rice is cooked al dente, about 15-20 minutes. The risotto should have a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more stock if necessary.
Step 6: Remove from the heat and add the mashed squash, a large knob of butter, grated Parmesan, 1 tbsp chopped thyme and seasoning to taste. Stir well.
Step 7: Serve with a topping of toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of grated or shaved Parmesan.
See more recipes from Natasha Edwards.
Reprinted with permission from Natasha Edwards' Garlic: The Mighty Bulb (2012 Firefly Books).