Roasted Carnival Squash with Risotto bianco

Squash and risotto

No Halloween post for me this year because actually.. well, I completely forgot it was Halloween! I have no idea how I managed to do this, as it was everywhere. All employees at work received paper Jack-O’Lantern masks on their desks, I got invited to few parties, everyone was talking about their costume in the run up to October 31st and I even saw kids in the pub one evening that week trick-or-treating people at the bar (until their mom caught them).   But as I said, I had forgotten and on the night of Halloween I was treating myself to a lovely night out at the opera, the Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House. Yes indeed!

It was a lovely modern take on it as well, with a bit of a feminist angle to it. Which is welcome in a story about the droit de seigneur, where a couple of servants try to convince the lord not to deflower the bride before her wedding… Still a long way to go for women, but how far have we come!

ROH

View of the Royal Opera House – Coven Garden, London, UK

Anyway, even if I missed the big pumpkin day, I could not dream of getting through the fall season without at least one squash recipe! And as I did not actually dress up for Halloween, using the pretty Carnival Squash is a nice way to still participate in the festivities 😉

So here is one of them already: a roasted acorn squash, filled with a simple, slightly spicy, risotto bianco. Very presentable in front of guests, and so easy!

Ingredients (2): 1 carnival squash – olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Then for the risotto, I followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe, so no point pretending,all ingredients and instructions are on the link below!

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/risotto-bianco-white-risotto/

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.

2. Cut the acorn squash in half  from stem to tip. It can be quite hard to cut so use a sturdy knife. Scoop out the seeds and scrape out all the stringy bits.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a table spoon of brown sugar in each half. This should nicely caramelise in the oven. Yum!

3. Pop into the oven for about an hour. Don’t be afraid to overcook your squash, it will only become softer and yummier with time but don’t undercook it. In doubt, better to leave your squash 10 minutes more in the oven.

4. While the squash is cooking, make the risotto, following Jamie’s recipe for example.

5. Finally, take out the squash from the oven, scoop in the risotto and sprinkle with dried chilli flakes.

Voila! Bon appetit! You either eat this dish by itself as a vegeterian meal, or serve it with a nice cut of meat.

 

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