Risotto – Fiori di Zucca
Risotto with Zucchini Blossoms
by James Belardo
We love using seasonal ingredients and you cannot get more seasonal that zucchini blossoms. The window of opportunity with the blossoms may not be as narrow as you’d think, especially if you grow zucchini and squash plants, because they flower everyday. (BTW, squash flowers are very similar but are more delicate). This year we had an abundance of blossoms from a ‘ornamental’ squash plant (yes, you can eat the blossoms). We picked the blossoms at dawn each morning, collecting them in a container and storing them in the fridge. We already used them to make fritters, pasta and used as a pizza topping. This recipe for risotto if bright and colorful because of the zucchini, zucchini blossoms and carrots. The carrots also help balance the flavor while adding a more intense orange which brightens up the risotto even more. It’s beautiful.
1 – 1.5 cups Arborio Rice
1/3 vidalia onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic
1 diced Zucchini (1/2 green + 1/2 yellow)
1.5 cups zucchini flowers
1 diced carrot
3/4 – 1 cup white wine
4 cups Chicken stock (try our homemade version)
4-5 tbsp olive oil
1 or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt (to taste)
Sprinkle with chopped flat-leaf parsley.
3. Add the butter, let melt and then add the Arborio rice and mix well until all grains are coated with the butter and oil. Cook until the grains absorb the liquid and you can begin to smell the rice toasting.
10. Garnish with fresh chopped flt-leaf parsley.