To me a risotto should elevate a single vegetable. It should celebrate it. Add too many ingredients to your risotto and the flavours will mingle and become indistinguishable in the long simmer. Courgettes are incredibly versatile. Fantastic cooked down low and slow into a silky mush, griddled and seared, battered and deep fried, raw… So for interest and texture in this dish I’ve cut each courgette differently. One diced and simmered with the onions into a meltingly soft sauce, one sliced into rounds for texture and body in the risotto and the last one peeled into raw ribbons to go on top. Serve with a swirl of pesto (try my salad bag pesto here), a drizzle of good olive oil and some toasted hazelnuts. Heaven.
Leave a comment if you tried this recipe or show us your photos on Instagram or our Facebook group. We love seeing your amazing recreations. Liz x
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sticks of celery
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 courgettes
- 1 mug of risotto rice (or however much you like to serve 4)
- 1 lemon
- 1 stock cube
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp (or more to taste) pesto
- extra virgin olive oil to serve
- toasted, chopped hazelnuts to serve
Dice the onion and put it in a wide pan with the butter and oil over a medium high heat. Add a pinch of salt and sauté and soften for around 6 minutes.
Dice the celery sticks, garlic and one of the courgettes and add them to the pan to soften too. Cook, stirring often until soft and golden. Around 10 minutes.
Rinse and add the risotto rice to the pan with the zest and juice of the lemon (or a glass of white wine). Crumble in the stock cube and add a generous grind of black pepper. Stir well to coat the rice in the seasoning then add a mug of warm water.
Slice the second courgette into rounds and add it to the pan. Simmer and stir until all the water has been absorbed then add another mug of water. Keep simmering and stirring.
Meanwhile use a vegetable peeler to slice as many ribbons from the third courgette. Chop up the middle bit and add it to the pan. Keep simmering and stirring and add another mug of water. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper or lemon once the rice started to swell up and become softer.
Once the risotto is cooked (the rice should be soft and creamy but still with a little bite) turn off the heat. Stir through a few tbsp of pesto, pile on the raw courgette ribbons, drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the toasted hazelnuts.
Take the pan to the table and serve with the jar of pesto handy to add extra swirls through the bowls of anyone who wishes for more.