Stuart Collins' squash and cumin risotto

Luxury London

17 November 2021

This seasonal classic by Stuart Collins, head chef at Whitchurch's Docket 33 restaurant and Great British Menu contestant, is given a modern update thanks to a subtle touch of cumin. Finished with rosemary, sage and pumpkin seed butter, it's hearty and comforting while being sophisticated enough to impress guests.

17 November 2021 | Luxury London


Serves four

300g Arborio rice
1 litre Vegetable nage
200g Wild mushroom, prepared and washed
200g Squash, 1cm dice
100g Squash and cumin puree
50g Crème fraiche
75g Parmesan
50g Butter, unsalted
10g Rosemary, chopped
10g Sage, chopped
15g Pumpkin seeds, toasted and chopped
1 Lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the vegetable nage
1 Onion
1 Leeks
2 Carrots
1/4 Celery head
4 Cloves of garlic, unpeeled and lightly crushed
2 Star anise
1 Pinches of ground white pepper
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Sprigs of Tarragon
3 Sprigs Chervil
1 Sprigs Coriander
1 Bay leaf
200ml White Wine

For the squash and cumin puree
200g squash, diced
75g Shallots, sliced
25gr Butter
100ml Vegetable nage
4g Pumpkin oil
3g Toasted cumin seeds, ground in pestle and mortar
Pinch of Salt


For the vegetable nage:

  1. Wash, peel and cut vegetables into 1cm square. In a stainless steel saucepan, put all the vegetables, garlic, star anise, ground pepper and bay leaf and cover with water.
  2. Bring to the boil and cook until the vegetables are soft. Once tender add the white wine and bring back to the boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs and allow to cool.

For the puree:

  1. Sweat the cumin in the butter softly for 2 minutes. Add the squash and shallot into the butter and sweat for 10 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add the vegetable nage, bring to the boil and cover with a lid, cook out for 20 minutes.
  2. Place into a blender and blend until a smooth and fine puree. Finish with salt and pepper, and pumpkin oil.

For the risotto

  1. Heat a thin film of oil in a thick bottom pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, and sweat with no colour for 2 minutes. Gradually add the vegetable nage, a little at a time, stirring regularly. The rice will take about 18 minutes to cook through.
  2. Once the rice is cooked, add the squash and cumin puree, crème fraiche and 50g grated parmesan. Stir well and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. To make the sautéed squash dice, use a little olive oil and butter to gently cook for approximately 5 minutes until tender. Reserve for later use.
  4. To make the pumpkin seed butte, dice the butter into 1cm cubes, heat until the butter turns to a golden brown colour, add a squeeze of lemon juice, the chopped sage and rosemary and chopped pumpkin seeds. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

To finish

  1. Saute the prepared wild mushrooms in foaming butter with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Place the risotto into a bowl, add the squash dice on top, with the mushroom and a few parmesan shavings.
  3. Mix the beurre noisette well and spoon over the top of the risotto.

Read more: Omar Allibhoy's figs, ham and cheese on toast