Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 5 medium zucchini
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 thick strip bacon
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 3-4 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Every time I cook I think about how to most efficiently use my kitchen space and tools. This dish works best if you plan and prep ahead. Dice 3 of the 5 zucchini by quartering them lengthwise and then chopping to 1cm thickness, and set aside in a bowl. Grate the the rest of the zucchini and the onion and set aside. Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano as well - I use a Microplane, so mine is a "fluffy" unpacked 1 cup. Finally, slice the bacon into pieces and clean the cutting board, then move on to cooking.
Once browned, set the zucchini aside in a bowl on the counter. Place the skillet on low heat, add the grated zucchini and onion and season with 1/2 tbsp salt and 1 tsp red pepper flake. Cook on low heat for about an hour - the zucchini will lose all its moisture and become caramelized, as well as concentrated with zucchini flavor.
|Left: Uncooked grated zucchini. Right: Caramelized|
|Top: Before the broiler |
Bottom: After the broiler
Next make the balsamic reduction. Pour 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and add 1/2 tsp sugar. Bring to a boil then put the burner to low and simmer until the liquid thickens and coats a spoon, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
|Top: Arborio mixed with zucchini|
Bottom: Risotto cooking with wine and water
To plate, ladle 2 cups of risotto into a shallow bowl, sprinkle with the crispy bacon, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and top with the Parmigiano crisp. Serve immediately and enjoy!
And it looks like I'm not the only one cooking zucchini these days. Check out The Foodie Road Show's Summer Squash Fritters with Sun Gold and Avocado Relish recipe - it looks delicious. Maybe I'll give it a try before summer is just a memory!