I can still picture my mother's guilty face as she sheepishly admitted to picking off the blossoms to prevent any more baby zucchini....because if you can't take care of them properly, you shouldn't have them. (Don't go reading into this too far and start sending me hate mail, we're talking about plants here-chill).
By now, you've fried your zucchini slices, made zucchini bread, made zucchini chocolate cake, fried some more zucchini-this time in sticks.....blah blah blah and then the neighbor lady stopped by and dropped off another bushel of summer squash from her garden and you thought "Oh, I see how it is! It's on now, $@$&%!" (By the way, I don't have a neighbor lady who has graced me with any fresh produce so if you're swimming in fresh produce, my address is.....)
|See, eating veggies|
So tie on an apron, Greta and pull out the skillet. Dinner will be ready in 45 minutes.
1 small zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 small yellow summer squash, diced into 1/2 inch chunks (*thicker is better than thinner here because they are gonna cook a bit and you want the chunks to be firm)
2-6 Tbs unsalted butter
6 squash blossoms (this is optional--wish I had had this recipe for mom back in the day-who knew squash blossoms are like the veal of the vegetable world?)
1 medium onion, chopped fine
7-8 cups of chicken broth
2 cups risotto rice, such as Arborio (anything long grain--not instant--will work here)
1/3 cup white white
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs of herbs-whatever you've got lying around, such as sage, parsley, marjoram
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
It's important to have your broth or stock warmed up so put it in a pot and keep it on the stove top while you are making this dish because you will be ladling it into the rice, a little at a time.
When the rice is nearly done but still has a "chalky" center, add in the veggies, blossoms, and herbs. Stir well and add more stock. Cook, adding stock as necessary until the rice is tender. Now add 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese, salt and pepper as needed. Stir, then turn off the heat and cover for a couple of minutes so the rice can finish. Garnish with more cheese if you so desire (and I do).
This recipe takes a little time but isn't hard by any means. And, honestly, it's adaptable for any other garden bounty--red bell peppers, mushrooms, a little diced tomato added at the end, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower--you know, whatever you've got. Just adjust your herbs to match or change out the chicken stock to veggie stock.
Risotto is one of those culinary "little black dress" types so accessorize to your heart's content.
And now you have one more recipe in the arsenal for all that dreaded fresh zucchini.