It's cold, damp and spooky out there. So there's nothing for it but to stay in the warm and get cooking. Seems like pumpkins are in short supply as we head towards the witching hour, with the good folk at Bert's Barrow farm shop growing thousands of pumpkins and squashes this season to meet an insatiable demand.
We managed to pick some up for a different kind of carving - dicing ready for the pot! As ever, we've used the best of Yorkshire ingredients for this deliciously creamy pumpkin risotto with Yorkshire Blue cheese and crispy kale. It's guaranteed to warm you up as well as fill you up...
Smoothie Squash risotto
500g butternut squash, pumpkin or squash of your choice, peeled and diced
3 banana shallots, diced
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh sage
Good glug Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil
Knob of butter
250g arborio rice
150ml white wine
600ml vegetable stock
100g Yorkshire Blue
Handful of kale leaves, chopped
1. Put the diced squash in a large pan with one of the chopped shallots, chilli flakes, bay leaves, thyme and sage leaves. Add enough cold water to cover, bring to the boil and cook until soft.
2. Drain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Discard the thyme stalks and other herbs then whizz the cooked squash until smooth. Add the reserved liquid to the vegetable stock and heat, keeping it at a low simmer.
3. Take a large sauté pan and heat the Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil and knob of butter. Add the remaining diced shallot, and cook until softened, taking care not to burn. Add the arborio rice and mix until coated, then add the white wine.
4. Cook until the wine has evaporated, then add the hot stock a ladle or two at a time, stirring until it has been absorbed before adding more stock. Towards the end of the cooking time add the puréed squash and crumble in half the blue cheese. The rice will be lovely and creamy. Season to taste.
5. Quickly sauté off the kale leaves with a little Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil until charred and crispy. Ladle the risotto into bowls, top with the crispy kale and more blue cheese and serve.