Try using or local Hollam Hill goats cheese – get it from Henley farmers market (last Thursday every month).
100g butternut squash, peeled, 1cm chunks
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
750ml vegetable stock
120g pearl barley
60g crumbled goats cheese
Handful chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Malden salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp thyme leaves
6 large field mushrooms
250ml vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Malden salt & freshly ground pepper
Prepare the risotto. Heat a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a large heavy based saucepan on the hob. Sweat the onion & garlic without colouring. Add stock & bring to simmer, stir in the barley, cover with lid & simmer for 50 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed & the barley is tender.
Take a large baking tray. Scatter the thyme on to the tray, place the mushrooms on top, stem side up. Pour over the stock & scatter over the chopped garlic. Divide the butter into 6 knobs, placing one in each mushroom, season. Cover the tray with foil & bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
When the barley has absorbed the stock & is tender, remove the pan from the heat. Crumble the goats cheese & stir it into the barley, along with the roast butternut squash, parsley & thyme. Taste & season. Watch the goats cheese melt into the hot barley.
To serve, place each mushroom on a plate – stalk side up. Divide the barley risotto between each plate, filling the mushroom cavity. Spoon over some of the mushrooms cooking juices. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil.
At the Crooked Billet I serve this a starter with rocket & watercress salad. Or as a main course with roast root vegetables – celeriac, parsnip, squash & carrot.