Oh who doesn’t love risotto? It’s creamy, delicious, filling and well it’s perfect. The main reason why I love risotto so much is because you really can do anything with it. There are so many different additions you can make- different vegetables, different wines- the options are really endless. Yesterday I wanted to make a seasonal risotto, one that is the true epitome of summer. So what comes to mind when it’s summer? Corn, Zucchini and lots of fresh basil.
I’ve been noticing this summer that there’s this new fad of making “zucchini ribbons.” I’ve seen them in salads, pastas, with fish, etc. Not that I want to be a huge follower…but UM these zucchini ribbons are such a great idea! They’re delicate but still pack that tender bite that zucchinis are known for. To make them, simply use your vegetable peeler and run it along the zucchini to make fine little “ribbons.”
Ariel’s Summer Risotto
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs butter
2 tbs basil infused olive oil
approx 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup freshly shucked corn kernels
1-2 small zucchinis, ribboned
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbs lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbs heavy cream
In a small pot, warm chicken broth and wine together.
In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and basil olive oil together. Saute onions and garlic together until the onions begin to get a little translucent. Add in the arborio rice and let it toast for about two minutes. Once the rice is toasted, begin to add in the broth and wine mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Continuously stir the rice and keep adding the broth mixture until it’s gone. This should take about 30 minutes- it’s a slow process so be patient! Make sure you’re on a medium/low heat so that nothing sticks to the bottom. Also be sure to use a good silicon spatula/spoon to stir so that IF rice gets stuck on the bottom, you can scrape it off. Once the rice is cooked (taste test), take it off the heat.
At this point, add in all the fix-ins. Lemon zest, lemon juice, zucchini ribbons, corn, basil, parmesan cheese, cream. Mix everything together. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the cheese can melt and the zucchini ribbons can warm through.
Spoon into a bowl and garnish with some extra basil and some more parmesan cheese.
When I was making this risotto, I really wanted to use white wine instead of red since it’s lighter, sweeter and fruitier. Unfortunately, red was all I had in the house. Due to laziness and the overwhelming desire to eat what I was about to make, I used red wine instead. You know what? I don’t regret it! And hey, it’s the red wine that has all those anti-oxidents right? So it’s healthier!
UGH. This risotto is so amazing. Even though it’s creamy, it still embodies all of those delicious summer flavors. I would definitely say that the lemon juice and zest are the secret ingredients in this dish. They really provide that extra acid that makes the creaminess of the risotto not so overwhelming. This dish is truly summer in a bowl. So hurry up and make it before canned corn becomes the only option…