Butternut squash risotto with seared scallops


This is another great dish for this time of year, with scallops and butternut squash both being in season in the UK. This can be made into quite a fancy looking dinner party dish if you go all out with the scallops, roasted butternut squash and crispy sage leaves, as per the recipes below. If you’re feeling more in the mood for something homely, forget the scallops and just make a big bowl of the risotto, and grate lashings of parmesan over the top.


1 large butternut squash
16 scallops (12 or 8 if doing as a starter)
400grisotto rice (again, less if a starter)
1lchicken stock (use vegetable stock if you want to avoid meat)
1 white onion
70mlwhite wine
4tbspOlive oil
16 fresh sage leaves


Prep time30 minutes
Tagsstarter risotto main course dinner party


Preheat the oven to 180°

Peel and de-seed the butternut squash. Take about 1/8th of it and cut into small neat cubes. Cover these in olive oil and a good bit of salt and roast in the oven for around 20 minutes until they are soft and golden brown. This is for decoration when serving so set aside once done and keep warm.

Roughly cube the rest of the squash and then boil this in salted water for about 10 minutes until it is tender. Put the squash in a blender and blitz until smooth. Once smooth, set this aside.

Warm your chicken stock.

Dice the onions and mince the garlic. Gently fry this in olive oil until translucent. Finely chop 4 of the sage leaves and add this to the onions.

Add the rice to the pan and stir so that the oil coats the grains. Then add the white wine and allow this to evaporate whilst continuing to stir.

One ladle at a time, add the chicken stock to the rice, stirring continuously and shaking the pan until the moisture is absorbed from each ladle. After about 15 minutes you should be a good way through the stock. Start to test the rice at this stage. Continue to stir and add in more stock until you are happy with the texture of the rice.

Then pour in the butternut squash puree and stir to heat through, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir for a little longer then put a lid on the pan and remove it from the heat.

Deep fry the sage leaves for 5 seconds in hot oil, then drain on kitchen roll and set aside.

Heat a frying pan until hot. Pour in 2 tablespoons of oil and add a knob of butter. Pat your scallops dry on kitchen towel and then season with salt and pepper. Sear them on each side for about a minute until they are golden but still soft. Remove from the pan and keep warm whilst you serve up.

Put a ladle of risotto in the centre of a flat-bottomed bowl (more if this is for a main course). Place four scallops, some of the roasted butternut squash and the crisp sage leaves on top. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and serve immediately.

butternut squash risotto with seared scallops


By coincidence your scallops

By coincidence your scallops recipe was just what was needed - even if it was wise after the event ...as literally, for the first time, attempted to cook some scallops at the w/end -having only eaten them in restaurants before ! Interestingly, the more traditional cookbooks recommend cooking them for MUCH longer periods : fashions change and yours is better in retaining the succulent flavours!!!!!