I cannot believe how grim the weather was yesterday – or more’s to the point I cannot believe how incredibly lucky we were with the weather last week when Rupert was part of a group of cyclists who were doing a charity bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End in aid of the wonderful cancer unit where my gorgeous dad was cared for here in Oxford. How much more horrendous would the ride have been if the weather had been like it was yesterday but luckily they were pretty blessed the whole way and arrived at Lands End on Saturday afternoon in sunnyish (ok I know it doesn't look like it in this photo!) but blustery conditions, and we then spent a beautiful sunny evening and morning in Sennen Cove and walked on the beach! Well done to the whole group – fantastic effort and amazing achievement!
The summer suddenly seems to have come to a rather abrupt end. Two weeks ago we were on holiday, now ‘my baby’ has begun university, the weather has completely changed, and in the next two weeks I am doing sales supporting a number of fantastic charities in Sussex, Wales, Surrey, Northamptonshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – you can find details of all my fairs on the Where to Find Fino page of the website - http://finooliveoil.co.uk/where-to-find-fino-fairs/. These include two food festivals which I have never done before - apparently they are fantastic events and great fun to visit – Abergavenny Food Festival is this coming weekend (19th/20th) http://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com and Thame Food Festival is next weekend (Saturday 26th September) http://www.thamefoodfestival.co.uk – if you happ
en to be anywhere near by do come along.
I love all types of squash, pumpkins etc – apart from being delicious I think they can be so beautiful. This recipe for Roasted Squash and Sage Risotto with Pinenuts is my idea of heaven and very quick, easy and comforting! This is what you need for 4 people.
1 large butternut squash, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp olive oil, handful of sage leaves, sea salt and ground black pepper, butter, 1 large onion, 400g risotto rice, 2 glasses white wine, 1 ltr stock, grated parmesan, 75g pinenuts
Heat oven to 200C. Chop squash into wedges, remove seeds and place in baking tray. Mix chopped garlic, chopped sage leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper and rub miture over squash. Roast for 40-45 mins until softened. When cool scrape flesh from the skin and mash in a bowl leaving it fairly chunky. Add any left over juices from baking tray.
Gently heat olive oil and butter in deep pan and fry onion. Add risotto rice and stir to coat in the buttery liquid. Then gradually add in wine and stock stirring continuously over a gentle heat. It should take 15-20 mins for the rice to be cooked but not too soft. At this point remove from the heat and add in the squash, parmesan, butter and seasoning and mix. Leave covered for a couple of mins and meanwhile gently fry the pinenuts in a pan – they should be slightly browned but do watch as they suddenly go! Serve risotto in warmed bowls scattered with pinenuts and parmesan.
I hope to see many of you in the next couple of months at one of the many fairs I am doing but do remember that orders for Fino Olive Oil or Fino Balsamic can also be placed online and will be delivered direct to you at home – http://finooliveoil.co.uk/product-category/all-fino-products/