Recipe: Preserved Lemon Orzo and Butternut Squash Risotto

Ingredients - serves 6

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, grated
250 grams of orzo pasta
650ml vegetable stock
40 grams of butter
40 grams of parmesan cheese, grated
2 small preserved lemons or 1 large one, halved and pips removed.
1 packet of sugar snap peas
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sumac
Sea salt and pepper



Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes then add the garlic and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the butternut squash, cooking for 5 minutes then add the orzo, stirring well to incorporate.

Pour over the stock, turn the heat down to a simmer and pop the lid on. Cook gently for around 10 – 15 minutes, stirring every so often so the pasta doesn’t stick.  Whilst the risotto is cooking, blitz the lemons, skin and all, to a paste and set aside.

The risotto is cooked when the orzo is nice and soft. Turn off the heat and add the preserved lemon paste, butter and the parmesan and season well. Give it all a good stir through and then leave the lid on while you make the sugar snap peas.

Heat the olive oil in a wok and when it smoking throw in the sugar snaps and stand back. Toss them in the wok for around a minute or so until they’ve charred slightly. You don’t want to overcook these, they should still be crunchy. Add a pinch of salt, the lemon and sumac and give a final shake in the pan.

Spoon a generous amount into a shallow soup bowl or plate and top with the sugar snaps and a final twist of black pepper.

Note: for fussy kids, just leave out the preserved lemon paste as it has quite a distinctive flavour which they may find a bit overpowering.