Half Scottish, Half Japanese. Tempura Mars bar?

My photo
I began writing this blog in October 2010 as a new father documenting food in his family. Before I knew it, I was in the final of MasterChef 2012. Now cooking is no longer just a hobby.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Fridgevention risotto

We were stuck in traffic on the A4 into London at 7.30pm on a Saturday evening after a day of cookery demos at the CGA Festival of Food at Barbury Castle Horse Trials.

There were three priorities. First, it was past Hector’s bed time. Second the Murray v Bagdhatis match was about to start on Centre Court. Third, we were hungry. Sadly, there was little in the fridge and time was not on our side – I was sorely tempted to get a take-away and although I could have justified it as I can’t remember the last time we had one, I remembered why that was. It costs at least £20 with none of the leisure of eating out and you’re left feelingt unhealthy even though you’ve not been able to finish it all.

The bottom of my fridge was a sorry sight.

A few scraps of butternut squash
The last two stalks of a head of celery
Half a tray of button mushrooms
The core of a small fennel bulb
Half a dozen spring onions
A handful of chives
Some parmesan
A ball of mozzarella
Risotto rice

I classify this as a free meal as it was all left overs and it took only 3 minutes of my time because I let my new Thermomix do all the work, while I put Hector to bed and poured myself a shandy to watch the Murray match.

Butternut squash, mushroom and sage risotto with chives and mozzarella

  1. Chop fennel, celery and spring onions and sweat in a little oil.
  2. Add the sage and squash and fry gently.
  3. Quarter the mushrooms and pop them in.
  4. Add half a glass of white wine and reduce it down completely.
  5. Add the risotto rice (50g per person), twice the amount of water or stock and cook for 15 minutes stirring constantly.
  6. Check that the rice is cooked then season with parmesan (or salt if you are vegetarian).
  7. Folded in diced mozzarella so that it starts to melt in the residual heat.
  8. Serve in a shallow bowl, topped with chopped chives and basil.

From such dismal prospects in the fridge, it was a pleasing result, especially given how little time was needed for either preparation or cooking.


  1. I just made my first Thermomix risotto tonight, a very simple one with home-made chicken stock from the freezer, a shallot, and parmesan. Served charred tenderstem broccoli on top.
    My machine is a loaner and I so don't want to give it back.
    When you say 3 minutes, can I assume your rice was already cooked then?

  2. Sorry - a bit unclear - the 3 minutes was my actual prep time. Thermomix cooked the risotto in 15 minutes, while I drank shandy and watched tennis!