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My friend Sofia recently posted about her not following recipes. Coincidentally I was also planning on writing about food. Last week we bought the book Meat Free Any Day by the food writer Sarah Beattie. I first came across Sarah on twitter, where she is a very friendly tweeter. She has been writing about food for over 20 years, specifically vegetarian food. She has a regular column in Vegetarian Living magazine, and it is recipes from this that form the basis of this, her most recent book.  We try not to have red meat more that twice a week so are always on the lookout for new veggie recipes. I’m really glad we got it. Like Sofia we also like to go off-piste when it comes to recipes, but it is always nice to have something to look at give you inspiration. Within 2 days we had cooked our first meal: a blue cheese and squash risotto. Sarah’s recipe is for 6 people so we made up quantities. Here is what we made (serves 2 hungry people):

1 small or 1/2 large Butternut squash cut into cubes, lightly oiled and roasted in the oven.

In a large frying pan gently sweat off a sliced leek in a butter and oil. Once it is nice and soft, put in 180grams of pearled spelt and let it get coated in the fat. Then pour in 200ml of white wine and let a good portion of it reduce. Keep adding spoonfuls of vegetable stock as the liquid cooks off until the spelt is cooked, it should take about 30minutes and 500ml of stock.

You want your butternut squash to get those nice crispy bits on it, but don’t forget about it in the oven whilst making the risotto and let it burn like I sometimes do.

Briefly steam off a little Cavelo nero.

When the spelt is cooked put throw in the Cavelo nero, butternut squash and some cubes of blue cheese. We went for a very creamy German cheese called Montagnolo Affine. We topped it off with some pea-shoots.

Here is the result:


Blue cheese and squash risotto

Blue cheese and squash risotto


Made anything tasty recently?