Spinach-Zucchini Risotto


Spinach-Zucchini Risotto

I developed this recipe to showcase a Roasted Vegetable Broth from Judith Barrett, and to have for dinner when there was little else in the house to eat. Ginger in the zucchini brightens the flavors of the dish.

5-6 cups roasted vegetable broth

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ onion, minced

5 cups baby spinach plus 2 cups wild arugula, washed and cut into 1-inch slices

1 cup Italian medium-grain rice, preferably Vialone Nano

1/2 cup dry white wine or Vermouth

1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese

1 small zucchini cut in ½-inch dice

2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper

5 large cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and stir until the grains are thor­oughly coated with fat, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until most of the wine has evaporated.

3.  Add the spinach–arugula mixture to the rice and stir until well-mixed.  Add a little more wine.

4. Add 1 cup of the simmering stock to the rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring the risotto until the stock is absorbed before adding more; the risotto is done when the rice is just tender, about 20 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, sauté the ginger in a Tbs. of olive oil until fragrant.  Add a little wine if it starts to burn.  Then add zucchini and simmer on medium-low heat until tender.  Add to the risotto.

6.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese and the butter, adding the last ½ cup of hot broth. Blend until creamy.  Garnish with the tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.

wine This risotto calls for a fragrant off-dry white wine.  Evolution, an eclectic blend of Oregon grapes from Sokol Blosser Winery, worked beautifully.

Note: my photo above shows a Moroccan eggplant garnish in the center, made of roasted eggplant puree, mixed with garlic, paprika, cumin, chopped parsley and cilantro, all cooked slowly until the moisture has evaporated and the eggplant mixture is thick as jam.

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