Lemony Summer Squash Risotto
July 28, 2015
Aunt Suzy says . . .
There has been an abundance of beautiful summer squash at our farmer’s markets and produce stands lately, so when this recipe from the NY Times “recipes for health” showed up in my Facebook feed recently, I knew I had to make it. I’ve made quite a few of Martha Shulman’s recipes from that column over the years and they are always reliable and delicious. (You’ll also see I made a couple of adaptations to the recipe cuz that’s how we roll here!)
If you know us at S&SK, you know how much we love lemon. You can see all kinds of “lemony” recipes, both sweet and savory, on our blog. I predict this one will be a favorite up here in the Minnesota branch of our cooking team. If you love risotto and love summery, lemony dishes, this one is a winner!
7 to 8 cups chicken (or vegetable stock for vegetarian)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 pound summer squash, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
Zest of one small lemon
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, preferably lemon thyme
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the stock in a pan and keep just below a simmer for use in the risotto.
In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil till it shimmers over medium heat and then add the onion and saute till translucent. Add the summer squash and a little salt. Turn up the heat and saute a further 5 min until the squash is just starting to get soft. Add in the rice and garlic and give a few stirs to coat with the olive oil and create the signature nuttiness of the rice in this dish. Add the wine and stir till absorbed.
Turn down the heat and add about 1/2 cup of the hot stock. Keep at a low simmer, and stir until the stock is absorbed by the rice. Repeat by adding 1/2 cup stock at a time, stirring till absorbed until the rice is just about cooked through, about 25 minutes total. Add some more stock, the lemon zest and juice, the thyme and the Parmesan. Stir to blend. The dish should be creamy, not too dry and not too wet and the rice should be al dente. Best served in bowls with a refreshing glass of lemony Pinot Grigio.
Notes on ingredients: Two medium squash added up to one pound for me with apologies for not measuring the amount of diced squash before adding it to the pan. I used one yellow squash and one striped zucchini. I used Pinot Grigio for the white wine, but a Sauvignon Blanc would work well too. Avoid anything with oak in it like a California Chardonnay. Use the best quality Parmesan that you can find for the flavor and creaminess that really makes this dish. We recommend grating it yourself vs. buying it already grated.