I don't usually like to brag like this, but is it really bragging when you are stating a fact? I am the world's best risotto maker. Really. I could take on any of those personality-free Top Chef nutjobs any day. Hell, bring on short, bald Tom himself, he'd be weeping at the perfection on his plate.
Last night's dinner was my latest risotto creation. For simplicity sake, let's call it "Heaven on a Plate", I'll transcribe the recipe as best I can, but I am prone to inspiration in the kitchen that may have altered the recipe a bit in practice.
Heaven on a Plate:
5 medium zucchini, cut into a large dice
2 tbsp olive oil
French Sea Salt
Toss the diced zucchini in olive oil and sea salt and spread on a baking pan. Place under the broiler, tossing occasionally until the zucchini cubes have a slight golden brown color. Set aside
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tsp dried thyme (use fresh if you have it, I didn't)
5 cups veggie broth ( I used better than bullion, it was goooood)
1 cups white wine
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, melt the butter and sweat the shallots until they are soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir until the grains are all coated with butter and they become translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the dry thyme (wait until later if you have fresh)
One cup at a time, stir in the vegetable broth waiting until it is fully absorbed. Once the broth is all absorbed, add the wine, one cup at a time. Yeah, it seems like a lot of wine, but it gives it a really nice flavor. At the end of the additions, the risotto should be creamy and slightly fluid with all of the grains of rice fully cooked and tender.
Stir in the lemon zest and the Parmesan cheese.
Fold in the previously cooked zucchini and pat yourself on the back for making a delicious meal.
I like to serve this with baby romaine salad with a nice vinegar-y vinegarette. (a big splash of balsamic, a big spoonful of dijon, a smaller splash of olive oil, a couple grinds of pepper and a few pinches of kosher salt).
And it does a beautiful double duty in lunches. Mine in a tupperware, Big Dog's in a bento box, expertly shaped into bear heads with my spankin' new rice mold.