Roast butternut squash

A whole squash hollowed out and roasted until tender makes for an eye-catching and edible serving dish for this vegetarian risotto. 

Prep 10 mins 

Cook 40 mins 

Serves 4



4 small squash, such as acorn and harlequin 

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

A few sprigs of fresh thyme 

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1cm pieces 

1 small glass white wine or stock 

1 litre hot vegetable stock 

6 shallots, finely chopped 

50g butter 

300g risotto rice 

2 tsp finely chopped sage 

3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 



1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan oven/gas mark. Cut the top off each of the small squash using a sharp knife. Scoop out of the seeds and rub a little oil inside each and season well. 

2. Put the prepared small squash on a baking tray, then sprinkle with some thyme leaves. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until softened and browning. Meanwhile, cook the chopped butternut squash, seasoned well and with a drizzle of olive oil, in a roasting tray underneath the small squash for about 20 minutes until golden and tender. Make sure they don't burn. 

3. While all the squash is cooking, gently heat the wine or stock in a pan. In a separate casserole pan, fry the shallots in the oil and 25g of butter until softened, then add the rice and the sage. Stir for a few minutes until well coated with oil, then gradually add the vegetable stock mixture, a ladleful at a time. 

4. Keep stirring and, as each ladleful is absorbed, pour in more liquid until the rice is tender but still has a slight bite. Add the remaining butter, sage, cheese and chopped squash and check the seasoning. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to sit for 2-3 minutes. 

5. Put a whole squassh on each plate and spoon the risotto inside. Garnish with sage leaves (see tip below) and serve. 


Top tip - Garnish with fried sage leaves. Heat a knob of butter and a drizzle of oil in a pan. Drop in 4-8 small sage leaves and fry until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and season.' 


Recipe from The Ideal Home Show Seasonal Cookbook