We both love risotto and sour dishes. This risotto seems to be an ideal dinner for us and when courgettes are in season we eat it quite often. We tend to cook risotto on Friday night when we know we can totally relax and have our favourite bottle of wine. There is no shopping to do, there is no need to rush anywhere – we can have this refreshing, comforting bowl of risotto and enjoy ourselves. I have to admit we always regret when our bowls are empty even our bellies are full.
As I am a great fan of risotto I have to say it again – it has to be creamy and oozy, so please do not trust the recipes giving 400ml of stock to 200g of rice which I have come across recently. It will be too dry. I assume that some people rather have stylish picture of dry rice than a real classic dish.
small shallot, finely chopped
200g arborio or carnaroli rice
approx. 30g butter
juice + zest of one lemon
approx. 150ml dry white wine
approx. 1 l vegetable stock
small courgette, sliced
handful of fresh basil
2 handfuls freshly grated parmesan
freshly grated black pepper
Keep the stock hot all the time. In a separate pan heat half of the butter, add the shallot and fry very slowly without colouring until softened. Then add add rice and turn up the heat.
Fry the rice, stirring all the time. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the lemon zest, juice (reduce the amount of juice if you do not like sour dishes) and wine and keep stirring until alcohol will evaporate. Season with pepper.
Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add a ladle of hot stock and turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring – you will notice a creamy starch from the rice. This is why you have to allow each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.
For the last five minutes add courgette and stir gently so you do not tear up the slices.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter, half of parmesan and whole basil leaves. Stir well and allow to rest for 2 minutes – this will make risotto really creamy and oozy. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan, some more pepper, garnish with basil and serve immediately (as risotto cannot be reheated!).