Simple and modern recipes from Cornwall: Courgette Flower Risotto
Word by Emily Scott
I love risotto. It’s a dish we always eat at home and have on my restaurant menu. Ever popular, it’s also a dish that you can eat throughout the year. There is something so wonderful about courgettes and their beautiful flowers, so very versatile, too. This lovely recipe is just delicious and something different, using up every part of the courgette and flower. It reminds me of long summer days, when supper is eaten outside and when the time seems endless. At this time of the year, sweet broad (fava) beans and peas are delicious and adding them to this risotto at the end just brings even more summery high notes.
• 10 courgette (zucchini) flowers with baby courgettes still attached
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 400 g (14 oz/scant 2 cups) Carnaroli or Arborio risotto rice
• 1.5 litres (50 fl oz/6 cups) vegetable stock, hot
• 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) white wine
• 100 g (3 1/2 oz) Parmesan, grated, or to taste
• Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Fresh basil leaves, to serve
Detach the flowers from the courgettes, remove the stamens and gently wipe the flowers clean. Slice the courgettes into rounds.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the garlic and onion until softened. Add the courgette flowers and stir for 1 minute, then add the rice and stir until well coated in the oil.
Pour over a ladleful of stock and stir until it is absorbed. Repeat until the stock is finished.
Add the courgettes and stir through, then add the white wine. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Add Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with basil leaves and extra Parmesan.
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