Zucchini and Saffron Risotto
- 4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
- pinch saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups finely diced zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup Arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons snipped chives
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the chicken stock or broth in a pan and add the pinch of saffron. Keep hot.
- In a medium heavy saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and add the zucchini. Saute 2 minutes, then add the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté one minute more or until the zucchini is tender, but not soggy.
- Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pot and stir in the onion. Saute until very soft and translucent but not yet beginning to color.
- Stir in the rice and cook until the grains become opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated, stirring often. Continue to cook, adding the warm stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and making sure the liquid has almost completely evaporated before adding more.
- After 15 minutes, begin checking the rice to see if it's tender by biting into a few grains. It is finished when the rice is tender but you still meet some resistance. Remove from heat while you finish the dish. The rice will continue to cook once it is off the heat, so err on the side of slightly underdone.
- To finish, stir in the reserved zucchini, herbs, butter and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.