Risotto has a special place in my heart, it’s one of my ultimate comfort foods and the first time I made it was over the first Thanksgiving I spent with my husband. Risotto might sound “fancy”, but if you’ve never made it just check out this quick video we made – it’ll debunk the myth that risotto is only made by restaurant chefs. When I spotted this lemon risotto with squash in the NY times I had to make it in the farm kitchen!
This recipe is really easy, and the simple flavors come together wonderfully. Surprisingly, this risotto has no butter, just a healthy dose of olive oil at the beginning. I drizzled the final dish Meyer Lemon oil from F. Oliver’s and it was perfect. The squash is added right at the beginning and cooked with the rice, for soft squash this worked perfectly.
The biggest tip I can give you for making risotto, is just get all of your ingredients ready and lined up at the stove. Grab a friend or loved one to help you stir and it will all come together. After a few batches of risotto – you’ll have it down and start making up your own combinations.
Lemon Risotto with Summer Squash adapted from the NY Times
6to 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 minced onion
1 pound summer squash (any variety), diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine, we used Bet the Farm’s Triamanette
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, until onion starts to turn translucent, about five minutes. Add the squash and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for a minute or two, or up to 5 minutes if you like really soft squash.
Add the rice and stir until the grains start to get shiny. Add the wine, and stir until it has been absorbed. Begin adding the stock about 1/2 cup at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock, and continue to cook in this fashion, stirring in more stock when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often.
When the rice is tender all the way through but still chewy, in about 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and Parmesan. Remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.