Courgette flower risotto

Theres more to courgette flowers than just deep-fryer fodder Theo Randall works them into a classic Italian dish, perfect for a starter
By Theo Randall
Courgette flower risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 courgette flowers, with baby courgettes attached
  • ½ cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 150 g carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1½ litres chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 60-70 ml white wine
  • 100 g freshly grated parmesan
  • 75 g butter
  • freshley torn basil

Method

1. Remove the flowers gently from the courgettes, and remove the stamens from inside the courgette flowers. Thinly shred the courgette flowers and slice the courgettes into discs.

2. Heat a frying pan until hot, add half the olive oil and fry the sliced courgettes and garlic for 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.

3. Heat a large, heavy-based pan until hot. Add the remaining olive oil and fry the onion and celery for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

4. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat in the oil. Cook for a few minutes, then add the white wine and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

5. Keep the chicken stock hot in a pan set over a low heat. Add a ladleful of the chicken stock to the pan with the rice, stirring frequently. Allow the rice to absorb most of the liquid before adding another ladleful of stock. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, adding the stock in the same manner, until all of the stock has been used and the rice is tender with a creamy texture.

6. Stir the cooked courgettes and the shredded courgette flowers into the risotto along with the butter and parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the basil.

7. To serve, spoon the risotto into shallow serving bowls.


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