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
There were three priorities. First, it was past Hector’s bed time. Second the
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
A ball of mozzarella
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
- Chop fennel, celery and spring onions and sweat in a little oil.
- Add the sage and squash and fry gently.
- Quarter the mushrooms and pop them in.
- Add half a glass of white wine and reduce it down completely.
- Add the risotto rice (50g per person), twice the amount of water or stock and cook for 15 minutes stirring constantly.
- Check that the rice is cooked then season with parmesan (or salt if you are vegetarian).
- Folded in diced mozzarella so that it starts to melt in the residual heat.
- 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.