28 June, 2009

Inspired by my garden beauties




I was jumping and dancing my happy dance when I finally picked up the first two zucchini from my tiny little garden. So beautiful, fresh, crispy, and with flowers still attached to them. Above all - my zucchini, totally organic.

What can I do with them? Something simple and yet delicious. I wanted to use my flowers, too. And there it was a recipe for Linguine with grilled zucchini marinated with saffron!!! But I didn't feel like making pasta. I wanted a risotto. Yes, I was in the mood a warm, creamy risotto. And I was imagining how beautifully it would smell if I marinated the zucchini in saffron first. That's how it was born. And I liked it so much that I made it again today. That's why you may notice that zucchini are cut a bit differently in some pictures. Fortunately, my garden has been giving me more zucchini. I'm still trying to perfection it, so, suggestions are welcome.

SAFFRON MARINATED ZUCCHINI RISOTTO

(2 servings approx.)

2 medium sized zucchini + a few flowers (if available)
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
saffron (0.1 g)
100 ml white wine
grated rind of 1 orange (I used lemon, because I didn't have any)
salt, pepper, thyme

200 g rice (arborio or carnaroli)
1-2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1 litre (approx.) vegetable broth
1 shallot
1 teaspoon butter
grated Parmigiano Reggiano

In a bowl, mix saffron with 2 tblspoons of oil and wine. Add a little salt and pepper, and the grated orange (or lemon) rind.

Wash, dry and chop or slice the zucchini (I cut the bigger one into matchstick size pieces, and only sliced thinly the smaller one). Place the zucchini into a ziplock freezer bag, add the marinade, close and let rest for about 30 minutes. I turned the bag every 5-10 minutes to coat the zucchini evenly.

Drain the zucchini through a fine mash sieve, placing the liquid into a small saucepan.

Let the liquid simmer while you are preparing the risotto, as you'll add this reduction to the risotto later.
In a deep skillet or a saucepan (I usually use a wok) warm 1-2 tblsp of oil, add finely chopped shallot, and stirfry until translucent. Add the zucchini and stirfry for 5-7 minutes until a little tender but still crisp.

Add rice and stirfry until it's translucent.

Start adding the vegetable broth. First time I add enough to cover well all the ingredients, and then I continue adding one laddle every time rice has absorbed the liquid. But never let it get dry.

So, stir occasionaly, keep an eye on your risotto, add little broth at a time.
Just like pasta, rice must be cooked al dente, not overcooked. Also remember, the rice will continue cooking (absorbing liquid) after you have turned off the heat.
I don't really have any experience with adding wine reduction to a risotto. So first time I added it at the end. Second time, I added it half way through. Any advice here? I think the saffron smell was stronger the first time, but the risotto was more liquid and by the time I served it (5 minutes), the rice had absorbed that extra liquid and was a bit overcooked.
However, when the rice is cooked (I judge that by tasting it, not by the time on the package), turn the heat off, add 1 teaspoon of butter and grated Parmigiano (we like it a lot, so for me it's 2-3 tablespoons), along with the chopped zucchini flowers. Stir until butter and cheese have melted, and let it mantacate for a few minutes before serving.

An idea for serving: take the flowers (carefully washed and dried, remove pistils, cut along one side and line a serving ball (small for single servings, or one big). Pour the risotto in, cover with a plate, and carefully turn over. Taadaa!




RISOTTO CON ZUCCHINE MARINATE

Da qualche giorno ho iniziato a raccogliere le prime zucchine dal mio orto. Io adoro le zucchine, sono così versatili che si possono preparare in mille modi. Se poi sono fresche e organiche come le mie, la mia felicità è infinita. Quindi, prendete per adesso questa, e aspettatevi altre ricette con le zucchine nei prossimi giorni.
Per questo risotto ho adattato una ricetta per Linguine con zucchine grigliate.
Ho fatto questo risotto per la prima volta la settimana scorsa e mi è piaciuto tanto. Così oggi a pranzo l'ho preparato di nuovo.
Mando anche questa ricetta a Evelyne, per la sua raccolta Tutto ruota intorno ad una zucchina.

(per 2)
2 zucchine medie
2 cucchiai di olio extravergine d'oliva
100 ml di vino bianco
1 bustina di zafferano (0,1 g)
sale, pepe
un'arancia
timo

200 g di riso (arborio o carnaroli)
1 scalogno
1 litro di brodo di verdure
1 cucchiaino di burro
Parmigiano grattugiato

Lavate, spuntate e tagliate le zucchine (a fettine o bastoncini, come vi piace).
Fate sciogliere lo zafferano con il vino e 2 cucchiai di olio, salate e pepate. Unite anche la scorza dell'arancia grattugiata e le foglie di timo (ho dovuto usare la scorza di limone, perché non avevo le arance in casa). Mettete le zucchine in una bustina da freezer e versateci dentro la marinata. Chiudete e lasciate insaporire per 1/2 ora, girando la bustina ogni tanto.
Sgocciolate le zucchine. Fate ridurre la marinata della metà in un pentolino mentre state preparando il risotto.
Scaldate 1-2 cucchiai di olio e soffriggete lo scalogno tritato. Aggiungete le zucchine e fattele cuocere mescolando per 5-7 minuti circa. Unite il riso e soffriggete per qualche minuto e continuate a cuocere bagnando man mano con il brodo bollente. A cottura terminata aggiungete 1 cucchiaino di burro e 2 cucchiai di Parmigiano grattugiato, mescolate bene e lasciate mantecare per un paio di minuti.
Ah, dimenticavo. Non sapevo quando bisognava aggiungere la riduzione di vino, quindi la prima volta l'ho aggiunto alla fine, la seconda a metà cottura. Avete un consiglio?
Un'idea per servire. Potete tritare i fiori e aggiungerli al risotto, oppure usare per decorare il piatto.
Io ho messo due fiori (tagliati a metà) dentro una ciottolina, poi ho messo dentro il riso. Quando l'ho rovesciato sul piatto, il risultato era questo.



RIŽOTO S MARINIRANIM TIKVICAMA

Tikvice koje sam posadila ovog proljeća u svom vrtu počinju mi davati prve plodove, pa se i moja mašta poigrava u kuhinji i zabavljam se pripravljajući različita jela od ovog tako zdravog, korisnog i ukusnog povrća.
Stoga očekujte još recepata uskoro.

(za 2 osobe)
2 tikvice srednje veličine
2 žlice maslinovog ulja
100 ml bijelog vina
1 vrećica šafrana (0,1 g)
sol, papar, naribana korica 1 naranče, listići timijana

200 g riže
1 l juhe (temeljca) od povrća
1 manja glavica luka (ili ljutike)
1 žličica maslaca
2 žlice naribanog parmezana

Operite i narežite tikvice (na kolutiće ili štapiće).
Otopite šafran u vinu i ulju, posolite, popaprite i dodajte naribanu koricu naranče (ja sam imala samo limun) i listiće timijana.
Stavite tikvice u vrećicu za zamrzivač i ulijte marinadu. Zatvorite dobro vrećicu i ostavite da stoji pola sata.
Ocijedite tikvice. Vino sa šafranom stavite kuhati na laganoj vatri dok se količina ne upolovi. Dodat ćete ga kasnije u rižoto.
Na ulju popržite sitno nasjeckan luk, kad postane staklast dodajte tikvice i miješajući kuhajte 5 do 7 minuta (ovisi koliko su veliki komadi tikvica). Dodajte rižu (ne ispirite je) i popržite kratko. Dodajite juhu malo pomalo. Prvi put malo više, a poslije toliko da rižoto nikad ne bude suh. Riža kao i tjestenina mora ostati "al dente", odnosno ne smije se raskuhati. Na kraju umiješajte vino sa šafranom, žličicu maslaca, i 2 žlice ribanog parmezana. Isključite, promiješajte i ostavite da odstoji par minuta prije serviranja.

15 comments:

  1. You know my mum stir-fry those flowers with sliced chicken, and they are holy delicious!!

    Angie's Recipes

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  2. Another great idea, usually I see them stuffed. But unfortunately, I can't collect enough from only two plants for stuffing, and they last so short.

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  3. I've been throwing out my zucchini flowers. I didn't know I could eat them. Now, I can't wait to try one!

    Your risotto looks divine!

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  4. Oh wow...it is just gorgeous! I love that you used the flowers as well...nothing goes to waste :) I want to run out and pluck the flowers from my neighbors zuccs if they don't hurry up and do it themselves! (I won't...but I'll think about it)

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  5. Oh, great, just wait till midnight and sneak in.
    I wish they lasted a bit longer so I could pick up more than just two or three at a time.

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  6. This is just mouth-watering delicious! I love that the flowers are used here too!

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  7. what a great recipe I will use it v soon, and great job on your zucchini I have flowers on mine he he so this recipe will be handy LOL

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  8. A very creative and tasty sounding dish!

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  9. Your risotto looks absolutely fantastic. Love the use of the zucchini flowers, what a treat.

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  10. Ottimo questo risotto,interessante anche la tecnica della marinatura,è da sperimentare!

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  11. Che buoni i fiori di zucchina, io li mangerei veramente in qualunque maniera!
    Ed il risotto ci sta che è un piacere...

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  12. Your zucchini is beautiful! I wish I had a garden. :)

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  13. Amazing recipe...Loved the creative idea!!

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  14. Zucchini amazing tasty I love the falvor!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)


    Welcome~~~
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  15. Kako je ovo dobro!! Moram isprobati!

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