I've made risotto before, but this zucchini risotto was out of this world! I couldn't really taste the shredded, caramelized zucchini, but I loved the deep, rich color it gave to the dish. The technique of shredding the onion was a new concept for me and I thought it worked really well - no tears! The bacon added a delicious saltiness and I am now worried I may never make risotto again without bacon. Although the parmesan tuiles were easy to make, I didn't care for the flavor; they were a little bitter. The highlight of this dish, however, was the balsamic reduction. It took a simple, rustic meal and elevated to a gourmet level. If you make this dish, you have to try the reduction! It was simply exquisite!
I usually cook for one, so I always have leftovers. The next day, try forming the extra risotto into small cakes and pan-frying them on both sides on a medium to high heat. The outside will get crispy, but the inside will remain soft and velvety. Serve on a bed of greens. For a dressing, I tried a new twist on a vinaigrette. Its acidity came from grapefruit juice, which I thought was a delicious alternative to balsamic or lemon juice.
Ingredients for the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
- 1/2 a shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon fine grain Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a old, clean jam jar or equivalent container with the lid on and shake. Keep the extra dressing in the fridge for another meal.