Turns out I am not quite done with my summer zucchini madness. This time—risotto!
(And don’t let risotto scare you—it’s actually really easy to make. You just need to make sure to keep an eye on the rice so you know when to add more liquid. And it’s a myth that you have to stir it constantly for a half hour—the Arborio knows what to do! Keep an eye on it and give it frequent stirs, but there’s no need to wear your arm out!)
Creamy Risotto with Zucchini and Goat Cheese
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
½ large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. Arborio rice
½ – ¾ c. white wine
6 c. chicken stock
1 large zucchini, cut in half moons
1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1-2 tbsp. goat cheese
¼ basil, chiffonade
1) Bring chicken stock to boil in saucepan, then turn down to simmering. Keep at a simmer throughout the process so you can ladle the hot liquid into the rice.
2) Saute onion in olive oil over medium to medium high heat until translucent. Add garlic and a pinch of salt and stir until it becomes fragrant.
3) Add rice to onion and garlic and sauté briefly.
4) Incorporate wine with rice, onion and garlic. Over medium to medium high heat, stir and let rice soak up all the wine.
5) Begin to ladle approximately 1-1/12 c. of hot chicken stock into rice mixture at a time. Again, let rice soak up all the liquid, then add more. Continue repeating this step until approximately 2/3 of the stock is left. Stir frequently to allow rice to retain liquid. (As rice is being incorporated, you will notice that the rice grains become slightly transluscent from the outside in, as the liquid is soaked up. The rice is done when it appears opaque.)
6) Add zucchini to rice mixture and continue to incorporate hot stock into rice.
7) When approximately ¼ of the stock is left, add tomatoes. Continue as before, until all the stock has been soaked up by the rice. By this time, rice should appear opaque.
8) Stir in goat cheese and basil. Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
One thing to watch here is the addition of salt. Between the chicken stock and goat cheese, you probably won’t need much. I’d suggest starting with only ½ tsp, as I eyeballed about 1 tsp. when I made this and felt it was a bit too much.
– Use ¼ c. parmesan or romano instead of goat cheese
– Stir in chicken or shrimp at the same time as the tomato
– Use herbes de provence instead of just basil
– Try oregano instead of basil
– Try half zucchini, half eggplant. For an Italian variation, use Italian seasoning, for a French variation, use herbes de provence.
All recipes and photos copyright of Foie Gras and Funnel Cakes unless otherwise noted.