Rob’s Butternut Squash & Sage Arancini

Karma Salford Hall – Chef James Woodhams

This indulgent arancini is the perfect winter treat and a favourite at Karma Salford Hall – a rich mix of sweet butternut squash with parmesan and blue cheese giving it a delicious tang all grounded with the earthy, peppery flavour of sage – just remember to keep stirring!



  • Set the oven to 190 degrees fan. Put the deep fat fryer on 180 degrees.
  • Start by collecting all your ingredients and all your equipment.
  • Finely dice 1 whole shallot.
  • Cut the top and bottom of your butternut squash off.
  • Cut butternut squash down in half widthways so there is the thinner top part and the bulging bottom half separated.
  • Working onto the flat base of the butternut, cut the skin off both parts (Use a peeler if this is easier).
  • Cut the top part of the butternut into a cuboid by slicing down on each side.
  • Slice the cuboid into equal 1cm dice.
  • Taking the bottom part of the butternut, lay it onto the flat bottom, slice down into four quarters.
  • Using a spoon, scrape out the butternut seeds from the bottom part and set aside.
  • Roughly chop the rest of the butternut into even pieces.
  • Wash the butternut seeds under cold water.
  • Prepare your orange by slicing the top and bottom off. Cutting around the shape of the orange to remove peel. Slicing into the orange at an angle to remove segments. Slice segments down into three equal sizes.
  • Finely chop half the sage leaves.
  • Slice blue cheese into 1cm cubes.
  • Grate parmesan.

Toasted seeds:

  • Season butternut and pumpkin seeds and put onto a metal tray and toast in the oven for 6 minutes or until golden.

Orange syrup:

  • Simmer orange juice with; cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, trim from the orange and trim from the butternut for 15 minutes.
  • Strain orange juice, add the sugar and reboil to 115 C. Allow to cool.

Roasted butternut cubes and butternut puree:

  • Season 1cm cubed butternut and roughly chopped butternut with salt and pepper and a splash of oil then roast at 160 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Whilst hot, blend roughly chopped butternut in blender mix with seasoning to taste and blend until smooth.

Crispy sage leaves:

  • Slice half your sage leaves in half lengthwise and fry in the deep fat fryer for 30 seconds, drain onto absorbent cloth.


  • Sauté shallots in a heavy based pan until soft without colour.
  • Add risotto rice and cook out for 1 minute until slightly translucent.
  • Add (roughly) half the stock and cook out whilst stirring slowly until fully absorbed.
  • Add more stock and continue to cook until rice looks full and has a slight bite to it.
  • Remove from heat, stir through half of your butternut puree, butter, cream, parmesan and finely chopped sage leaves.
  • Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Take 50g of risotto and push flat into your palm, put a cube of blue cheese into the middle and form a ball around the cheese. Repeat until you run out of mix.
  • Pane the risotto balls in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.

To serve:

  • Deep fry the arancini.
  • Draw a circle around the edge of the plate using the orange syrup.
  • Pipe the butternut puree into the middle of the ring and at three equidistant places around the ring.
  • Place pieces of orange and roasted butternut around the ring.
  • Scatter the seeds around the ring.
  • Place a deep fried sage leaf on each plate on the outside butternut puree.
  • Drain arancini onto a piece of absorbent cloth and place on the middle butternut puree.
  • Place micro coriander around the ring.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over the arancini.

Download the Recipe as PDF

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