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Regional Recipe of the Quarter: Butternut Risotto - from Executive Chef, Malika van Reenen, Signal Restaurant, the Cape Grace Hotel


Below are the metric measurements as given by Chef Reenen as well as the Imperial conversions (in parentheses) that worked for me.

  • 3L (10-12 cups) hot vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1kg ( 2 pounds) butternut; cubed & roasted with a cinnamon stick, sprinkling of brown sugar and a        knob of butter 
  • 100ml olive oil (1/2 cup) 
  • 8 shallots or 1 large onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) curry powder 
  • 500g (2 cups) arborio rice 
  • salt & pepper to taste 
  • 150g (3/4 cup) mascarpone cheese 
  • 100g (1/2 cup) grated parmesan 
  •  75g (handful) wild rocket (arugula)
  1. Cube butternut and roast at 350 degrees with a cinnamon stick, sprinkling of brown sugar and a knob of butter until soft.
  2. Remove cinnamon stick and set aside half the roasted butternut cubes to add to your cooked risotto.
  3. Take the rest of the cooked butternut and blend to a smooth pulp using a hand held blender and cup of the stock.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the chopped shallots and garlic, then cook on medium heat until onions become translucent, taking care not to brown them.
  5. Add curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add rice, stirring continually and cook for about 1-2 minutes, again ensuring that it doesn't brown or stick to the pan.
  7. Gradually add a third of the hot stock, stirring until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, this should take about 6-7 minutes.
  8. Continue with the rest of the stock, until all the liquid has been absorbed, this should be a total of 18-21 minutes cooking time for the rice.
  9. Add the butternut purée, salt, pepper, mascarpone and grated parmesan and stir all the ingredients through.
  10. Top with the roasted butternut cubes and garnish with wild rocket.

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