If you have some zucchini or pumpkin flowers in your garden, do not hesitate to try this delicate pilaf (risotto) dish perfect for a main dish or for a side dish. The colourful and tasty combination with tomatoes and parsley makes this dish very attractive, elegant and special. It is not difficult to prepare a good risotto, but you need to choose the correct rice and not to skip the roasting procedure, add the wine and then add the boiling liquid (usually broth) in small portions. As rice, we suggest following varieties: Arborio, Carnaroli, Roma or Vialone. Carolina, Asian or other similar “dry” rice kinds are not suitable for a good risotto.
Risotto ai Fiori di Zucca – Pilaf with Zucchini Flowers
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cup rice for risotto
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetal broth, quantity to be adjusted
- 2 tomatoes, diced in small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 zucchini or pumpkin flowers, only petals in strips
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons flat parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon zest, grated
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide, but deep enough pot heat the oil and fry on medium heat the onion until translucent.
- Add the rice and roast it for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Add the wine, reduce temperature immediately and add the 2 cups of broth. Let simmer and stir from time to time adding more broth when the liquid is almost adsorbed.
- When the rice is almost done (after about 15-18 minutes) add the tomatoes and the flowers. Stir well.
- When the rice is done, but not too soft, remove from heat, add garlic, parsley, lemon zest, butter and cheese. If necessary, adjust with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately as well as some more grated cheese if you wish.
- You may also add (together with the first to cups of broth) one small chopped zucchini
- For a smoother risotto you may add 1/2 tablespoon flower together with the rice and roast them together.
- You may also add some ricotta or some heavy cream just before the rice is done.
- I like to add one dash of white wine one minute before the rice is done.