Monday, October 12, 2020

Roasted Butternut Bacon Feta Risotto #BakingBloggers

Any risotto is a bowl of comfort food, but this roasted butternut bacon feta risotto takes a simple rice dish up several notches. You can stir the bacon through the dish or simply use it as a generous topping. 

Food Lust People Love: Any risotto is a bowl of comfort food, but this roasted butternut bacon feta risotto takes a simple rice dish up several notches. You can stir the bacon through the dish or simply use it as a generous topping.


Many years ago when our younger daughter was at university, she and her roommates went through a phase where butternut squash was on regular rotation in their menu because of its cheap price and ease of roasting/refrigerating for future meals. 

What ended up happening is that said lovely daughter was completely off of eating butternut squash after that. There are just so many times a person can eat the same thing without being put off indefinitely. The problem is that her father and I still like it! 

So … the search was on for a recipe where butternut didn’t taste so fully of butternut. I am delighted to tell you that this one cracked the code. 


Roasted Butternut Bacon Feta Risotto

This recipe is adapted from a way more fancy one from Jamie Oliver. I love Jamie Oliver but sometimes he does get cheffy. This recipe is easy and tasty. It got a “would have again” rating from my taste tasters, even our younger daughter! And that’s saying something! 

Ingredients
2 small butternut squash, whole (about 2.2 lbs or 1kg)
Olive oil 
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
Fine sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper 
12 oz or 340g thick sliced smoked bacon 
6 cups or 1420ml chicken stock
2 shallots
2 short stalks celery
1 1/2 cups or 300g arborio rice 
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine 
4 tablespoons butter 
5 fresh sprigs oregano
8 oz or 226g feta cheese 

For topping: 
1/4 cup or 35g toasted, lightly salted pumpkin seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Trim the ends off of your butternut squash and then cut them in half. Small squash don’t need to be peeled because the peel gets tender when cooked and is completely edible and delicious. 


Remove the seeds and discard. Cut squash into chunks and pile them in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with ground coriander, fine sea salt and a few good grinds of black pepper. 


Shake the pan to separate the squash chunks. Bake in the preheated oven until soft, about 40 minutes.

Peel the shallots and dice them and the celery. 


Remove the squash from oven and set aside.


Break feta into small uneven chunks. I like using the tines of a fork for this job. Remove the oregano leaves from the sprigs and set aside a tiny pile for topping. 

In a large saucepan, fry bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels then cut them into pieces.


Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan then add the shallots, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until softened. 


Meanwhile, place chicken stock in a small pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to very low to keep warm. 

Add the rice to the shallots and celery. Stir constantly until rice is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.


Pour in the white wine and stir until it is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.


Begin adding the broth to the rice, a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. Allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding next; process will take about 20-25 minutes.


When ready, rice will be soft and plump with a slight bite. 


Remove rice from heat. Fold in the pumpkin chunks, butter and the larger pile of oregano leaves. Place a lid over the saucepan, and let it sit for 2 minutes so the butter can melt.

Food Lust People Love: Any risotto is a bowl of comfort food, but this roasted butternut bacon feta risotto takes a simply rice dish up several notches. You can stir the bacon through the dish or simply use it as a generous topping.

Fold in the feta pieces, reserving some crumbles for the top. 

Top with bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds. Add the reserved feta crumbles. 

Food Lust People Love: Any risotto is a bowl of comfort food, but this roasted butternut bacon feta risotto takes a simple rice dish up several notches. You can stir the bacon through the dish or simply use it as a generous topping.

Enjoy!

Check out this month's Baking Blogger pumpkin and squash recipes. Many thanks to our organizer and host, Sue of Palatable Pastime
Baking Bloggers is a friendly group of food bloggers who vote on a shared theme and then post recipes to fit that theme one the second Monday of each month. If you are a food blogger interested in joining in, inquire at our Baking Bloggers Facebook group. We'd be honored if you would join us in our baking adventures.

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Food Lust People Love: Any risotto is a bowl of comfort food, but this roasted butternut bacon feta risotto takes a simple rice dish up several notches. You can stir the bacon through the dish or simply use it as a generous topping.

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