I recently came back from a trip away and found I had nothing to eat and pretty bare cupboards to make anything with. This is what I created with the ingredients I did have. Surprisingly it didn’t end up like a bad episode of ready steady cook but a rather delicious and cosy meal, I thought I’d share.
Brown rice risotto is not immediately evocative of cosy and delicious rather a 60’s hippy commune or something that is so achingly ‘healthy’ the taste leaves you feeling fasting might be a better option.
Here however the nuttiness of the brown rice mixes beautifully with the softness of the butternut squash puree, that is offset by the sharpness of the tarragon in turn balanced by creaminess of the feta and sweetness of the raisins. Creating a nutty aromatic fusion that some how ends up tasting middle eastern in origin?!
I enjoyed it so much I have frozen a batch of single portions (minus the last ingredients of feta, spring onion) for future quick fixes when I don’t have the time, ingredients or both.
Recently the freezer is my new best friend. When I became gluten-free I was so excited by something being ‘gluten-free’ I started to eat more manufactured processed meals, bread, biscuits and sugar loaded puddings. As the scales crept up the penny finally dropped. Although I felt so much better and energised (gluten-free) I didn’t want to replace one bad thing with a cupboard full more.
Now I use my back up frozen ‘ready’ meals. So far it’s working really well and not only saving me ££’s on expensive ‘gluten-free’ bread, biscuits and crap but pounds on the scales too.
400g brown rice, 2 x cups
2 cloves of garlic minced/grated
150ml, 2 Litres of chicken (or vegetable) gluten-free stock heated
1 x Butternut squash
1 x teaspoon of chopped Tarragon
2 x tablespoons of chopped Coriander
50g, 1/2 cup of raisins
25g of grated Parmesan cheese
250g crumbled Feta cheese
2 x chopped spring onions
1. roast your butternut squash (see here for detailed instructions) and then blend in a food mixer with a dash of water and olive oil to make a puree and set a side
2. heat some olive oil in a risotto pan (enough to create a lightly cover the base of the pan)
2. add the rice
3. stir the rice for approx. one minute making sure all the rice is covered in the oil
4. start adding the warm stock and the grated/minced garlic. unlike risotto rice I find you need to add two ladles of stock at a time and keep stirring intermittently adding more stock just before the rice fully absorbs all the liquor
5. add your butternut squash puree, mixing throughly in to the rice
6. add the tarragon, coriander and raisins again stirring throughly
7. add the parmesan and generous seasoning to taste, I used a good few pinches of Maldon
7. take off the heat and then mix through the crumbled feta and spring onion and serve. Enjoy!