One of my very favourite things to cook is risotto. It’s time consuming and labour intensive and sometimes pernickety, but man, if you nail it, the payoff is totally worth all of the work. Don’t attempt if you’re looking for something quick. Totally attempt if you want to make an event out of your meal. This recipe I’ve concocted is perfect for all of you home gardeners. Zucchini season is upon us, and I couldn’t be happier. Let’s do this.
Lemony Zucchini Risotto
- 3 tablespoon olive oil (or butter…)
- 1 smallish/medium onion, diced (I prefer yellow)
- 1½ cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (chicken broth adds a nice flavour)
- 2 small zucchini, coarsely grated
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano (regular parm is fine, but this is so much richer)
- zest of 1 lemon
- Salt ‘n’ Pepa
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Heat up broth in a medium sized pot and keep it on low. The broth will incorporate better if it’s hot before it goes in with the rice.
- Heat olive oil (OR BUTTER) in a large pan over medium heat. Don’t burn the butter!
- Tell Salt ‘n’ Pepa you need some cooking music.
- In the large pot, sauté the zucchini until it’s soft but still a lil bit crunchy. You don’t want mush. Remove the zucchini from the pan. Set aside.
- Add a little bit more oil (or BUTTER) to the pan. Sauté the onion until translucent and add the rice, allowing it to absorb the remaining oil and get a wee bit toasted.
- Pour the white wine into the pan and stir constantly while it is absorbing. It’ll sizzle and make you feel like a real chef. Feel free to yell something “chefy”.
- Pour white wine into a glass and drink it, but not all of it because you need some to drink with your finished food. But you still need to be drinking wine because it’s more fun to cook that way. You should still be listening to Salt n’ Pepa.
- Add the hot broth to the rice mixture – a ½ cup at a time – allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next. Stir constantly, and then stir some more. If your arm starts to hurt, you’re doing it right. Taste a little bit of the rice to see if it is soft. If it’s still too chewy, add some additional hot broth or water.
- Once broth is incorporated (this will take a whiiiile. Like…the better part of an hour. You can’t say I didn’t warn you), stir in the zucchini. Allow any liquids from the zucchini to absorb into the rice.
- Stir in the lemon zest and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cheese and serve. And then cover it with more cheese. Because cheese.
Enjoy! Tell Salt ‘n’ Pepa I say hello.