June 27, 2014

Easy Zucchini Risotto

It seems a lot of people avoid making risotto because it often involves 20 minutes of constant stirring or dry white wine which you might not have on hand.  This recipe is perfect for those who haven't yet tried making risotto or anyone who's just looking for an easy risotto recipe.

Wine in this recipe is completely optional.  I've made it both ways and the difference is subtle.  If you were looking to enjoy a glass of wine with your risotto, then you should definitely make the recipe with wine. Otherwise, I would say skip it since you'll end up with delicious risotto either way.

This recipe is also easy because it doesn't require broth to be kept warm in separate saucepan.  Just make sure you don't use broth straight from the fridge, as it needs to be room temperature or warmer.  The Kitchn had an article on whether or not you need to warm the broth and the comments on it are quite interesting.

Below is a photo of what my risotto looked like just before serving it which I wanted to share because I feared there was too much liquid and that I had stopped cooking it too soon.  My point is, it still tasted great despite the fact that the liquid hadn't been completely absorbed by the rice.

Do you use a salt box?  I recently bought one via Amazon to store coarse salt in and I love it.  It's a classic green salt cellar by Miles Kimball and is large enough to easily get measuring spoons in or your whole hand if you're grabbing a pinch of salt to add while cooking.

I find salt confusing and wish I had a better understanding as to whether or not I'm using the right type.  I've read that I should only purchase unrefined salt but can that be used for baking and is the addition of iodine necessary? Anyone have any advice?

If you're currently getting summer squash from your garden, a CSA box, or a neighbor, I highly recommend this recipe.  The zucchini season here in South Florida runs from December to June, so we're enjoying the last of the harvest now.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable broth (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (optional)
  • 1 lb (2 medium) summer squash, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • In a 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Add the rice, stirring constantly for 1 minute. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. If wine is not being added, move onto the next step of adding the broth.
  • Add salt and 1 cup of broth, stir occasionally until the broth is absorbed. Add a 1/2 cup of broth as needed until the rice is nearly done but still a bit crunchy (about 15 minutes). Then add summer squash and cook for 5 more minutes, adding more broth if needed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter, spinach and most of the Parmesan cheese. Reserve a little cheese to sprinkle on top during serving. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from: Shutterbean
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  1. I love making risotto, one of my favorite dishes! I will have to try this one.

  2. I really must get over my fear of risotto. This looks so good and can't have too many zucchini recipes!

  3. I can't wait until the zucchini from my garden is ripe so I can try your recipe.

    Looks delish!