Samp and Gem Squash Risotto

“This Risotto features Samp as the hero ingredient – replacing risotto rice with an African staple that has a lovely al dente crunch and creaminess. I’ve also added in one of my favourite vegetables – gem squash, for a delicious gentle nuttiness. It’s perfect for our chilly African winter at this time of year, but just as delicious in warmer weather with a chilled glass of white wine. Oh, and yes it tastes even better if you cook it in a traditional South African ‘potjie’ pot :).” Sarah Graham.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 gem squash, halved
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Willow Creek Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or use thyme or oregano)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup samp, rinsed and soaked for at least 2 hours
  • ½ cup Durbanville Hills White wine (optional, otherwise use extra stock)
  • 2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan (or hard cheese of your choice)
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to serve (or oregano)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

What to do

1. Add your gem squash halves to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and the flesh can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove, drain and set aside to cool before removing the seeds.

2. Meanwhile, add your butter and olive oil to a large heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in your chopped onion and herbs and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions have softened and are translucent.

3. Add in your garlic and samp and stir well until the samp is well coated in any remaining oil and butter. Add in your wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

4. Add in your stock gradually, ladle by ladle, and leave to simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Then add the milk until and the samp is cooked through and creamy. Add a little extra water or stock along the way if necessary. It should be creamy and not too dry.

5. Scoop out the flesh of the gem squash and add it to the risotto. Stir until everything is well mixed together. Add in your Parmesan, check for seasoning and serve immediately in warmed bowls with a little extra grated Parmesan and fresh parsley to garnish.

Photo from ‘Sarah Graham’s Food Safari Season 2’ by Ricardo de Leça.

For more of Sarah’s delicious Food Safari recipes click here. 

 

 

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