Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yellow Zucchini and Taleggio Risotto

Today is another one of those days on which I feel completely uninspired to write. Between after-hours meetings for work and planning an amazing cocktail party, I’ve been really busy and haven’t cooked that much this week. I made this risotto a couple of weeks ago because I had a good-sized chunk of taleggio left over from my pizza and I also had yellow zucchini in my fridge (I always have zucchini in my fridge in the summer). This was also an uninspired dinner; I didn’t have the energy to come up with anything innovative so I just stole the flavors from the aforementioned pizza and turned it into risotto. Is it meta if I steal my own recipes? 

Yellow Zucchini and Taleggio Risotto
(serves 2-4, depending on the course)
2 cups vegetable stock + 1 cup water
¼ cup finely chopped white onion (about ½ of a small onion)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small yellow zucchini, sliced into half moons between 1/8" and 1/4" thick (about 1 heaping cupful)
1 cup Arborio rice (I like Vialone Nano)
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup shredded taleggio cheese (about 3 ounces)
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

In a small saucepan, bring the stock and water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Keep the liquid at a very low simmer.

In a medium sized pot or deep pan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the zucchini and cover. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to soften the zucchini.
Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes on just below medium heat.  Add the wine and stir until almost all the liquid has cooked off.

Add ½ cup of the stock/water mixture and stir well. You do not have to constantly stir the rice (stir it every now and then), but keep an eye on it; when there is just a little bit of liquid left, add another ½ cup. It takes about 3-4 minutes for each half cup to get almost fully absorbed. Continue doing this until the risotto is cooked through but still has a bit of bite to it. (I used a little over 2 ½ cups; you might need less or all 3 cups.)
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, and basil.

Top each serving with a little bit of finely grated parmigiano-reggiano and a few shreds of basil and serve immediately.

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