Recipe: Butternut squash risotto

Rating: 4 stars based on 851 reviews


  • 450g peeled butternut squash, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 red peppers, halved, deseeded and cut into chunky pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 450g assorted mushrooms, sliced not too thinly
  • Leaves from 3 large, fresh thyme sprigs
  • 220g pearl barley
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, hot
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 125ml oz double cream
  • 3 tablespoonfuls chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 2 handfuls of cooked and warm peas or soy beans

To serve

  • 4 small handfuls wild rocket or other salad
  • parmesan shavings


  • How to make pearl barley risotto
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the squash and peppers in a small roasting tin, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, season and toss. Roast for 35 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through, then remove from the oven and set aside, keeping warm.
  • Meanwhile, start the risotto. Heat the remaining oil in a medium pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Add the pearl barley and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add a quarter of the stock to the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the stock has been absorbed. Add another quarter of the stock and continue in this way until all the stock is absorbed - it should take about 40 minutes for the barley to be tender but still al dente.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir until absorbed.
  • Then add the cooked mushrooms then stir in the parsley followed by the peppers.
  • Add the cream and peas or soy beans and gently stir until warmed through.
  • Place a piece of squash in a large bowl and spoon the risotto over. Place rocket or other salad at the side and add parmesan to top off.


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