I have been looking forward to this moment since my zucchini seeds went in on February 10th. Today I get to eat my first zucchini flowers from the balcony. I wanted to feature them in a dish where their true colours and flavours would still shine through. It had to be this risotto.
Recipe: Risotto with zucchini flowers, peas and fresh pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched and refreshed in iced water
4- 5 zucchini flowers with stems attached sliced lengthways
1/4 cup fresh pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat olive oil and half the butter in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic until aromatic. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds until grains are well-coated with the oil and onions and slightly opaque. Pour in the white wine and stir until it is aborbed. Lower the heat slightly and proceed to add the hot stock a little at a time until it has all been aborbed. Keep stirring gently. This action will break down the outer starchy layer of the raice grains creating the creamy texture you're after. This should take 15-20 minutes. Add the zucchini stems reserving the flowers and cook for 3-5 minutes.Add the peas and the pistachios and stir through . Turn off the heat and add the flowers, butter and parmesan and mix through. The risotto should be slightly sloppy. Serve immediately with a grating of parmesan.
delicate flavours and wonderful textures....
Indian summer in a bowl. This dish will knock the socks off your family and friends.
I came across these fresh, raw pistachio nuts at the Fox Studio Farmers Markets yesterday. Having only ever had pistachios roasted and salted they were a taste revelation.
Still subtley pistachio-flavoured but with the delicate texture of a cooked broad bean.
Look out for them! You will be amazed.