Risotto with Zucchini and Nasturtium Blossoms
Our wonderful organic baby courgettes/zucchini are just ready now and are delicious in this recipe. The nasturtium flowers add both colour and a peppery note here – the perfect foil for the creamy risotto. We sell them in our Farm Shop at the Cookery School, and Neighbourfood markets.
C (V if vegetable stock is used)
110g (4oz) small zucchini
75-125g (3 – 4 1/2oz/scant 1 stick – generous 1 stick) butter
1 onion, sliced (about 110g/4oz)
1.7 – 1.9 litres (3 – 3 1/3 pints/7 1/2 – 8 1/4 cups) homemade chicken stock or vegetable (see recipe)
400g (14oz) Arboria, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
150ml (5fl oz/generous 1/2 cup) dry white wine
6-8 zucchini blossoms
2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) freshly chopped annual marjoram
50g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
8-10 nasturtium blossoms, torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the zucchini into half lengthwise and then into 5mm (1/4 inch) thick slices at an angle. Alternatively just cut into one-third dice.
Melt 50g (2oz) butter in a saucepan and cook the zucchini for 4-5 minutes until al dente.
Melt 25g (1oz) butter in a heavy saucepan, add the onion and sweat over a gentle heat for a few minutes.
In another saucepan, bring the stock to the boil and then adjust the heat so it stays at a gentle simmer.
Add the rice to the onion, stir for a minute or two to coat the grains, then add the wine and continue to cook until the wine is almost fully absorbed. Season well with salt and pepper. Begin to add ladleful’s of the simmering stock, stirring all the time and making sure that the last addition has been almost absorbed before adding the next.
After about 12 minutes, when the rice is beginning to soften, add the cooked zucchini and cook for a few minutes more. When you are happy that it is just right, soft and wavy, stir in the zucchini blossoms, marjoram and the remaining butter and Parmesan - the texture should be soft and flowing. Taste, it should be exquisite. Correct the seasoning if necessary.
Sprinkle the zucchini blossoms over the top and serve immediately in warm bowls with an extra sprinkling of Parmesan.
Other good things to add to risotto in the summer – broad beans, sugar peas, French beans, peas and beetroot.
Grow, Cook, Nourish