Roasted Butternut Squash and Miso Risotto

2 Jun

It was my birthday on Tuesday (I’m 38!). I had a bit of a boring morning, went to the hospital for a chest X-Ray (just a follow-up thing) then went food shopping in Mercadona (not exciting). It got better from then on though, I bought a new yellow dress (I’ve got a thing about yellow at the  moment) and then “The Washer Up” left work early so we could go out for a late dinner at our favourite Indian Restaurant (wearing the new yellow dress).

The Mumtaz Mahal in Coin is the restaurant that we love. We love the food (always delicious) and the staff (so polite & friendly) and we can take the dog and sit outside.  The food is stunning, none of that “one sauce fits all” type of Indian restaurant. Every dish has a unique flavour and is cooked to perfection.

We have been guilty, in the past, of always ordering the same things because they are so gorgeous (tarka dal, chana masala, vegetable balti, bombay aloo) but recently have decided to branch out and order something different every time we go.

My latest favourite is the Paneer Tikka. Paneer is an Indian cheese made in a similar way to ricotta which is then pressed to firm it up. The paneer is marinaded in the tikka sauce, threaded onto skewers with peppers & onions and then cooked until slightly charred. It comes out sizzling on a cast iron and wooden plate which all adds to the drama, I love it..

Please excuse the dodgy photo, I still haven’t worked out how to take pictures at night with this camera but you get the idea. And, before you say it, yes I did eat cheese, it was my birthday treat, I had a day off the detox (yay)!

They also do the most amazing bread called an Onion Kulcha which is a mixture between naan and pizza topped with onions, chilli and coriander. We have that every time without fail which means we don’t try any of the other breads but I just can’t not order it, it’s that good.

Oh and we always order far too much which means we get to take the leftovers away and eat (and photograph) them the next day….

Back to the recipe. I know that squash isn’t exactly seasonal here at the moment but I saw the bright orange in a sea of green and had to buy it. A lot of my readers are in the southern hemisphere (including my dad in South Africa) where it is  Autumn/Winter so I’ll use that as my excuse.

I usually make a squash and feta cheese risotto. I like the combination of the sweet squash and the sour salty feta. Making a vegan version was going to be challenge. I needed to get that same contrast in flavours without the cheese. Inspiration came from A Meandering Mango in Australia. She made a roasted squash soup with miso as she didn’t have any stock. Miso has that umami savouriness that I needed to off set the sweet squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Miso Risotto

serves 3, vegan, gluten-free

  • 1/2 butternut squash (about 700 gr) including seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 gr brown wholegrain rice (or risotto rice)
  • a big splash of beer
  • 1- 1 1/2 litres veg stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp miso paste
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • lime wedges to serve (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Scrape the seeds out of the squash with a spoon, wash all the orange stringy bits off and dry the seeds. Place them in one layer on a piece of foil drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the preheated oven for 4 -5 minutes until golden. Keep an eye on them they burn quickly!

Remove the seeds from the oven and turn it up to 210 C. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes (I didn’t peel it), put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and season with the salt & black pepper. Toss everything together with your hands so evenly coated and lay the squash out in one layer. Roast in the 210 C oven for 35 -40 minutes until well cooked, softened and slightly browned.

After about 20 minutes you can start making the risotto. Put the veg stock and miso paste in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the miso while you make the risotto. In a large pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the onion, celery and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft but not browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the rice and stir to coat in the onions. When the rice is starting to turn translucent at the edges, add a good splosh of beer and cook until all the liquid disappears. Add a ladleful of the hot miso stock into the rice and stir or swirl the pan until all the liquid is absorbed. Add another ladleful of stock, stir or swirl until absorbed and continue like this until the rice is nearly cooked. About 20 minutes with risotto rice, wholegrain rice takes about 25 minutes and more stock.

Stir in most or all of the roasted squash (depending on the size of your squash) and cook for 5 more minutes until it has melted into the risotto. Taste for seasoning, add salt if necessary.

Serve topped with the roasted squash seeds, a few fresh coriander leaves and a wedge of lime to spritz over if you like.

This has a slightly unusual flavour for a risotto but it is really delicious. In fact I’ve come up with the perfect name for it, it’s a misotto. You should give it a go, it’s surprisingly good, whatever the season…

Things that made me smile today..

Wild Orchids…

So beautiful…

A definite “Moment of Gratitude”…



16 Responses to “Roasted Butternut Squash and Miso Risotto”

  1. Susan June 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I love a squash risotto when it’s cold and snowy out … yours looks so smooth and colorful! At first, I thought the seeds pepitas, which is what I use atop my squash risotto, but squash seeds! Great idea!

    Happy Birthday! Glad you got a nice dinner date and a new dress! Your flowers are beautiful too! In the States, we call those flowers delphinium. They are one of my favorite perennials … thanks for such pretty pics!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Happy birthday! I love this recipe. And no the big splash of beer isn’t my favorite part! I love how it has the creamy squash and the tangy lime and the cilantro. Great photos too.

  3. Erin June 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Great pictures! Happy Birthday!! This risotto looks creamy and delicious! Love that you added lime and cilantro!

  4. thefooddoctor June 2, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Happy birthday 🙂
    Glad you got to enjoy it..
    Thank you for the smile and the wonderful recipe..

  5. tony ward June 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Wonderful stuff dahling its got my tastebuds tingling at just the thought of it.Interesting combinattion of east and west.Another one to impress our dinner guests with, all this food means more wines…good move. !! xx

  6. Maris (In Good Taste) June 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    happy Birthday to you!!! What beautiful flowers! This dish looks like a great way to celebrate!

  7. happywhennothungry June 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Your photos always make me smile and drool!!! This dish looks amazing as always!

  8. Caroline June 3, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    Happy birthday!!! Hope you had a wonderful one. I love butternut squash, well, and risotto. Great combo. 🙂

  9. tiffany June 3, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappppppppppppppyyyyyyyyyyyyy Birthday!!!!!!!!! Imagine that I am singing this song for you ( … start at 1:14). And I love this dish! (Surprise, surprise) and I love those orchids (which are my second favorite flower after stargazer lilies!)

  10. healthy mamma June 3, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Well Happy Happy Birthday! I must look into the Kulcha bread, it sounds absolutely wonderful!!! I love the miso addition to this recipe. It all sounds exactly like something I would love. Thank you for the new recipe.

  11. Ami June 3, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Love this recipe, I love risotto style recipes. I’ve also been thinking of trying kulcha. this post is timely. Paneer tikka is my favorite too. hope ur x-tray is all fine. Tc…God bless…

  12. Ami June 3, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Belated Happy Birthday to u…! pls post a photo with your yellow dress.

  13. sarah June 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Happy Birthday! I hope you got to rock that yellow dress!! This recipe looks lovely- and that miso risotto is making me feel all swoony.

  14. Liz June 4, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Belated birthday wishes to you! How fun that you got to bring your doggy to the restaurant to celebrate 🙂 Looks like a lovely risotto…the color is delightful!

    PS…I love, love that beautiful tea towel/napkin!

  15. Beth Michelle June 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Happy Happy Birthday!!! I find that as I get older birthdays ten to get less and less exciting! Your risotto looks AHmazing. I am a huge lover of all things butternut squash. Such interesting flavors with the miso! Beautiful photos.

  16. Laurie June 8, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Hope you had a good birthday. This sounds great. I love miso, risotto, and squash, so it’ll be a big win to put them together 🙂

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