Monday, August 16, 2010

Scrumptious Butternut, Basil and Lemon Risotto

You know you're on a flavour-roll when everything you make is bursting with flavours that just seem to complement each other and do a little song and dance on your taste buds before making their way into your stomach, where they reside contentedly.

Your whole mouth buzzes until the last mouthful.

Well, this is how my week went last week - I was untouchable; a relative Culinary Super Woman - I loved every moment of it - that is what cooking is about to me - FLAVOUR FLAVOUR FLAVOUR!

This enthusiastic piece of cooking was inspired by my recent love for risotto - I have made a pea and mint risotto and a tomato and basil risotto, but this risotto worked out to be the tastiest.

Butternut, Basil and Lemon Risotto:
(Serves 4)


1 Litre Good Quality Vegetable Stock (Yeast and Gluten Free) - Heated on The Stove
2 Cups Arborio Rice
1 Packet Butternut, Cut into Small Pieces
Sprinkle of Paprika
Sprinkle of Herbal Salt
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Olive Oil
1 Onion, Diced
Dried Basil (Or Fresh, if you Prefer)
1 Teaspoon Xylitol/ Fructose/ Sugar
Good Grind of Cracked Black Pepper
Zest of 1 Lemon
Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Basil Infused Olive Oil for Serving


Heat oven to 180 degrees
Sprinkle half the packet of butternut with paprika, herbal salt and cinnamon and roast in the oven, after drizzling with some olive oil; until sweet and roasted (keep checking on it)
Fry the onion in a good glug of olive oil and when translucent add the rice and allow it to sizzle
Add a ladle or two of stock to the rice and stir
Add the rest of the diced butternut and stir until the stock has evapourated
Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, after the previous amount has been absorbed - stir every now and again - you should be using a medium heat at this point
Half way through, add a generous amount of dried basil (about 2 or 3 teaspoons) or a bunch of fresh basil
Add a few teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of xylitol
Add a good crack of black pepper, herbal salt, lemon zest and lemon juice
Continue with the stock process until it has all been used up - this should take about 20 to 25 minutes, at which time the roasted butternut should be done
Taste the risotto - the rice should be al dente (still have some bite and not all mushy) and the butternut should be tender
Adjust the seasoning if necessary
Finish off with a good glug of basil infused olive oil and top with the roasted butternut

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