Spelt, barley and squash risotto

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This risotto recipe, made with spelt and barley instead of rice, is an excellent vegetarian recipe from The Pony & Trap's Josh Eggleton. Instead of using stock, Josh employs the flavourful and inventive use of a carrot and butternut squash purée. This is a hearty main dish that works particularly well in winter.

First published in 2015
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Juice 4 of the carrots in a blender and chop the remaining 4. Chop the bottom half of the squash into cubes, place in a pan with the chopped carrots and milk and butter. Simmer until tender
Add the contents of the pan to a blender with the carrot juice and blend - add more milk if the purée looks too thick
Peel and chop the other half of the squash into cubes, toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper and then roast in the oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 until the squash looks tender
Start the risotto. Crush the garlic and then finely dice the shallots and celery. In a large pan sweat the garlic, shallots and celery in a knob of butter
Wash the barley and spelt and then add both to the pan. Add the white wine and a splash of water, cook until absorbed
Add 100g of the carrot and squash purée, stirring constantly until the grains are coated. As it cooks, keep adding more of the purée - as you would do traditionally with a stock - to ensure the risotto doesn't dry out
Once all of the purée has been absorbed add the cubes of squash, chopped chestnuts, Parmesan, truffle oil and a knob of butter and stir in
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on a large plate and garnish with the chopped pistachios, pea shoots and a few drops of olive oil
First published in 2015

It can take decades of dedication and dogged effort to win a Michelin star. Josh Eggleton, though, was ‘shocked’ to win his first Michelin star at the age of 27, after only a few years of being a Head Chef.

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