Tonight we are having our good friends Jon and Julia for dinner and our lovely friend Christine from Leeds is staying with us for the week… it is grim and rainy but a satisfying kinda day as the dinner is ready (just a Thai Curry and Thai Bean cakes… something for another day) and the baby is sleeping and I have a few minutes to myself as the leaves make their final drifts off the trees outside.
I wanted to tell you about my latest Autumnal additions to our risottos… and it was Julia’s visit that prompted me, because last time she came, a few weeks ago, with her marvellous parents who were here on vacation, I made them all risotto. This is nothing too new in our house, I began throwing risottos together many years ago, and although there is something somewhat laborious about sticking close to the risotto as the starch builds up around the mingling of the wine and stock and rice, it is one of the tastiest and most comforting foods I know. The harvest is just coming to an end here and our friend Tarah had generously donated one of her allotment-grown squashes to our vege bin, so I felt compelled to make it into something tasty.
Here are the raw materials for the risotto. I am not going to give you quantities, largely because I just make the risotto until it feels about right. But I used Arborio Rice, a cheapy Sauvignon Blanc, chopped green capsicum, a couple of cloves of garlic, sliced mushrooms, about half of the squash cubed and sauteed with the capsicum, mushrooms and garlic and the tasty addition of sage to round off the flavours of autumn. I have to admit to being fully influenced by Paola in The Netherlands who said “How about a comforting butternut squash risotto seasoned with fresh sage?”… mmmm, a great idea that was as delicious as I had expected.
Here is a bowl from our dinner with our friends a couple of weeks ago… the ample shavings of parmigano don’t really expose the golden glow of the squash, but it did indeed feel very autumnal and a perfect foil for all the wonderful colours exploding on the trees outside our window. Warming, seasonal and totally appetising.