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Butternut Squash & Pearl Barley Risotto with Udo's Oil 



Splash of olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 small tsp. of fennel seeds
250g butternut squash, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
A few sprigs thyme leaf, leaves removed
2 cloves of garlic
2 sage leaves
200g dried pearl barley – soak for 30 mins beforehand and rinse
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
200mls white wine
800-900 mls vegetable stock
40g Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. crème fraiche
30g chopped parsley
20g baby leaves
2-3 tbsp.Udo’s Oil


  1. Soak barley in a bowl of water for about 30 mins, strain and then rinse.
  2. Add splash of olive oil to a small saucepan then fennel seeds, cook for about 1 min until fragrant. Add squash and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 mins. Remove butternut squash from saucepan plus whatever fennel seeds you can. Melt butter in same saucepan, add onion, garlic, sage and thyme with a pinch of salt and pepper into saucepan and cook until softened.
  3. Add pearl barley to the onion mixture and stir until all the barley is coated in the butter and onion mixture.
  4. Pour two-thirds of the stock [hot] into the saucepan, stir gently and bring to a simmer. Place lid on saucepan and leave to cook until barley is nearly tender and most of the stock has evaporated, stirring occasionally. This should take about 20 mins. Add back the butternut squash. Add more hot stock if necessary – add slowly, a small ladle at a time. Cook until barley is creamy and tender but still lightly nutty. (Do not allow the barley to dry out.)
  5. Remove from heat, add crème fraiche and half the Parmesan plus the chopped parsley and baby leaves. Stir gently, cover the pan and allow the cheeses to melt and flavours to blend.
  6. Season to taste adding in Udo's Oil to enhance flavour, give one last stir.
  7. Serve in warm bowls topped with more Parmesan.