End of Summer Risotto
I’m calling this End of Summer Risotto because it contains the remnants of our garden produce which will sadly not be here much longer. I love risotto and make it a lot even though it requires constant stirring and watching, its easy enough to make while helping P with her homework and its a gluten free starch which means everyone in the family can enjoy it. Also, its delicious! I love the texture and risotto absorbs so much flavor.
You can adapt this recipe easily depending on what veggies you have on hand. I used 2 slices of previously cooked bacon in this recipe, I had it for making sandwiches for the girls’ lunch. You could use pancetta as well. If you don’t have any already cooked, fry it up for a few minutes in the saute pan and then set aside to cool. Wipe the grease from the pan or just use it to flavor the rest of the dish : )
What you need:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small zuchhini or one large zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces
1 large shallot, diced finely
2 ears of fresh corn, removed from cob (substituting frozen and thawed kernels will work)
2 slices of previously cooked bacon
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of Arborio rice
1 quart of low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Begin by melting 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and add the zucchini, shallots, and corn. Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Soften the vegetables and scrape up brown bits while stirring occasionally. After about 5-7 minutes the veggies should have a bit of color but not be burned. Add the garlic and bacon and stir slowly for 1-2 minutes. Now move all the veggies to the outer circle of the pan and add the rice to the center. Let it toast for a minute undisturbed. Stir and let sit for another minute.
Now the rice is gently toasted mix everything together with a spoon and add about 1 cup of broth. Most risotto recipes call for warming the broth before adding. I have found its not really necessary when using a box of room temperature broth. If you were to pull broth from the fridge, I would definitely warm it up before adding to the pan so that the rice and veggies maintain a consisten simmer. Allow the broth to come to a simmer and stir so that everything is evenly distributed in the pan. As the liquid evaporates add about 1/2 cup more every few minutes so that it never dries out. The zucchini and corn will continue to release moisture into the dish so you may not need to use the entire quart of chicken broth. After adding about 3 -3.5 cups and roughly 20 minutes the rice should appear fluffy and most of the liquid should be absorbed. Take a spoonful out and let it cool for a moment before tasting to see if the rice is done. You want it to be toothsome but not crunchy. I think everyone has a personal preference about how al dente they like the rice. If its not soft enough add more broth and allow to cook for a few more minutes. When its finished stir in the Parmesan cheese and a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy!