We have some truly awful treats that are actually good for you! With just a few olives, a green pepper and a little imagination you can transform a standard butternut squash risotto into an army of ghoul faced pumpkin balls or one giant ghoul pumpkin face!
Serves 2 hungry adults and a baby, or makes 25 risotto balls.
- 1 butternut squash
- A little olive oil for drizzling
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 180g arborio rice
- 300ml boiling water / hot homemade vegetable stock
- 30g cream cheese / soft goat cheese
- 30g tasty grated cheese / parmesan
- 1 green pepper
- Large handful of pitted black olives
How to make Spooky Pumpkin Risotto
- Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas 6
- Cut the butternut squash in half to separate the straight 'neck' from the round base. Peel and dice the straight neck and cut into 1cm cubes. Cut the round base down the middle from top to bottom, to create two halves and scoop out the seeds. Place all the butternut squash onto a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until roasted. Scoop the soft squash out of the round butternut halves and mash or blend to create a puree. Reserve the roasted cubes of squash till later
- Whilst the butternut squash is roasting, peel and finely chop the onion, then sauté in olive oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat for about 5 -10 minutes. Once softened, crush the garlic cloves and add for another minute
- Add the dry rice and stir through, frying for approximately 2 minutes. Then add a splash of boiling water/stock so that the risotto sizzles. Stir thoroughly
- Gradually add a little (approx 100ml at a time) of the water/stock stirring all the time. With each addition, wait until the rice has absorbed all the water before adding any more
- Add the pureed butternut squash about half way through cooking, when the rice is beginning to plump up. Stir in to create a beautiful orange risotto. Continue to add the water/stock slowly, stirring often
- Once the rice is soft and has absorbed all the water, stir through the remaining roasted butternut cubes and continue to heat for another couple of minutes, until the butternut squash cubes are warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir through the cream cheese / soft goat cheese and grated parmesan to give a silky texture
- Mash or whizz in a blender to suit your little one's texture requirements - if you need the rice to be runnier just add some milk. For older children and adults the roasted butternut squash cubes add a delicious contrast in texture.
- For a fun centre piece at a Halloween party add a few black olives and some green pepper to create a spooky pumpkin face. You can do one big bowl, or smaller individual ones. Or create a ghoul-faced army of risotto balls by adding a little extra cheese, quickly cooling the risotto, then forming to bite-size balls, perfect for little fingers. Decorate each ball with a Halloween pumpkin face, using green pepper and black olives, then put into the fridge to firm up. These are best served cold. For food safety always ensure you cool the risotto very quickly, by spreading out on a large surface, use clean hands to make it into balls and refrigerate as soon as possible.
Recipe from Organix.