Zucchini Blossom Risotto

(Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course)


– 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– 2 shallots, minced

– 1/2 pound zucchini, wshed and cut into 1/4-inch dice

-1/2 pound yellow squash, washed and cut into 1/4-inch dice

– salt and freshly ground pepper

– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

– 2/3 cup minced onion

– 1 1/1 cups Vialone Nano or arborio rice

– 1 cup white wine, preferably a Sauvignon or Gewürtztraminer

– 5 cups vegetable broth, kept at a low simmer

– 24 zucchini blossoms, stemmed and blown clean, but not washed

– 8 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


– In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until they sweat out some of their liquid, about 5 minutes.

– Add the zucchini and yellow squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the squash, stir in half the parsley, and set aside.

– In a 4-quart casserole over medium heat, warm 4 more tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and let it cook until it turns translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

– Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Add half the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Add a ladle of simmering broth to the rice and stir.

– When the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladle of broth. Continue in this way, letting the liquid absorb before adding another ladleful, and stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini mixture and continue with the ladle-at-a-time process for another 5 minutes.

– Add the zucchini blossoms and the rest of the wine. The risotto should be done in another 3 minutes ( a total of 18 minutes cooking time): Each grain will be soft on the outside, but with a slightly chewy center.

– Remove the risotto from the heat and beat in the cheese, utter, and the remaining olive oil and parsley. If the rice seems too dry, adjust the texture with a bit more broth.