Autumn Butternut Risotto image

Autumn Butternut Risotto

Protégé is an exciting casual fine dining eatery under the guidance of previous Eat Out Chef of the Year, La Colombe’s Scot Kirton at Le Quartier Français. Scot is proud to be part of the process of recognising young talented chefs, such as Jess, and giving them the opportunity to put themselves on the map. In keeping with this, the restaurant was aptly named Protégé.

Chef Jess, prides herself on using the freshest of local ingredients that pay homage to seasonality and the below dish is perfect for Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Butternut Risotto, chorizo, beurre noisette croutons, herbs
Serves 4
Veg Stock

  • 2 onions peeled and halved
  • 1 heads of Garlic cut in half
  • 3 Leeks, cut in half, washed
  • 2 sticks celery washed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs of Thyme


Roast onions, garlic, leeks, and carrots till golden brown (either in oven or in pot) - toss in large pot with fresh celery, coriander seeds, peppercorn, thyme cover with water simmer for 45min take off the heat cover with cling film let rest of a hour, strain through sieve.

Butternut Puree

  • 300g butternut, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 100g butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme/sage or rosemary (own preference) 
  • 150ml water
  • salt


  1. Heat the oil in a wide based pan and add butternut. Caramelize butternut until golden brown and add butter herbs and pinch of salt.
  2. Carry on cooking turning the butter into beurre noisette (nutty brown).
  3. Once butter has nice colour and flavour, add the water and cook until soft and most of the liquid has cooked away.
  4. Using a hand blender, blend into a smooth puree.

Taste and season accordingly.

Beurre Noissette Croutons

  • ½ loaf sourdough bread, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ lemon zest
  • Salt
  • Chopped parsley


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and toast bread until golden.
  2. Add butter half way through toasting bread and carry on cooking until bread is crispy and butter has turned nutty.
  3. Add lemon juice, zest and seasoning and toss through.
  4. Add parsley, drain on kitchen towel and set aside until plating
  5. Crispy Chorizo
  6. 200g chorizo, casing removed and cut into small cubes
  7. 2 tbsp canola oil

Add the chorizo and oil to a small pot and place over medium high heat.
Cook until crispy being careful not to burn the chorizo.


  • 1 Onion Minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 10g Thyme, Picked
  • 60g Butter
  • salt
  • 500g Arborio Rice 
  • 200ml White Wine
  • 800ml Veg Stock, Hot
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 handfuls grated parmesan
  • 50g butter


  1. Sweat onions, garlic and thyme in butter until soft and no colour. 
  2. Add rice, season and toast for 1 min. Add white wine and cook till absorbed and alcohol smell is gone. Season with salt as you carry on cooking.
  3. Add a large ladle of HOT stock and stir gently until absorbed. Continue to add stock by the ladle until rice is 85% cooked- should e mostly translucent but still have a bite to it.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add puree to taste (probably 3/4 of the yielded amount), mix through.
  5. Add parmesan and 2nd butter mix through using a spatula, working the risotto to emulsify the cheese and butter into the rice to create a creamy porridge-like consistency.
  6. Add herbs and taste and season accordingly. 

*Risotto should be runny and creamy, add a touch more stock if it gets too thick and starchy.

To make the dish restaurant worthy, Chef Jess suggests the following plating:

  • Pour 2 ladles of risotto into a bowl or soup plate. Top with a few croutons, nice tablespoon worth of crispy chorizo and dot the oil drippings all over the risotto. 
  • Place a teaspoon of crème fraiche on top and a few fresh parsley leaves or deep fried sage leaves.


We would love to see your interpretation of this so be sure to tag us in your finished product @lequaf @leeucollection  #liveleeu