The hero of this dish is actually the roasted garlic. It adds a depth of flavour that’s wonderful and smoky. This is a great vegan dish; top with a bit of grated Violife Parmesan if you wish.
Free From: Dairy, Eggs, Gluten
Be careful with using commercial stocks as most contain celery
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50-55 minutes
1 large head of garlic (or two small)
1 sweet potato – diced
½ butternut squash – diced
5 shallots – cut in quarters
150 ml white wine
400g risotto rice
600 ml vegetable stock - be aware that most commericial stocks have celery
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 180°C, 355°F
Pop the whole garlic in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes – then take it out and leave to one side to cool enough to handle. Peel the garlic cloves and leave to the side. This is a fiddly job so best to get it done before you start the risotto.
Skin and dice up the sweet potato and butternut squash
Skin and cut into quarters the shallots
Grab a roasting dish, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and pop into the oven for 3 minutes to get warm.
Add the sweet potato, butternut squash and onions to the pan. Roast for about 40 minutes – flip the vegetables several times throughout that time.
While the vegetables are roasting get on with making the base for the risotto
Put the stock in a pan on a low heat. Grab a ladle or measuring cup to have handy.
Have the wine ready by the side of the stove.
Grab a large pan with a wide base. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat gently. Turn up the heat a bit and add the rice. Now is the time that you start stirring. You want to ‘toast’ the rice, not cook it. So a few stirs with the spoon as the rice sizzles for a minute or so.
Throw in the wine – it will sizzle and evaporate.
Grab your ladle and add some stock. Stir as you go. Only add about ½ cup at a time and make sure that the stock is completely absorbed before adding more. This is the bit where you stir – don’t leave it and allow the rice to bubble away. On my stove a medium/low heat works best. You want a constant bubble, not a boil. If you add the stock too quickly the rice will be mushy on the outside and hard on the inside so go slowly. You do need to check on the vegetables a couple of times as you make the risotto.
Once all the stock has been absorbed you should have a lovely risotto – do check the rice as you go. It should have a bite to it but not be raw, or overcooked and mushy.
Grab the garlic and add it to the roasting vegetables for five minutes. If you find that the vegetables are done before the risotto just put the heat down to low and keep them warm.
Once the risotto is ready gently stir in the vegetables with a wooden spoon (metal will squish them as they are lovely, soft, and delicate). Taste and add a bit of salt and pepper according to your taste.
Serve with Violife Parmesan cheese and your vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy allergic friends will be delighted!
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