Cast Iron

Zucchini Risotto with Stuffed Squash Blossoms

June 30, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 2-3 people
Author Notes

Zucchini flowers are very popular in Italy, and often overlooked in the United States. The most common way to eat the blossoms is lightly fried and sprinkled with salt. - SarahMK —SarahMK

Test Kitchen Notes

Lots of zing (lemon), a little crunch (zucchini) and the overall creamy/delish of white wine and Parmesan! The recipe being a little vague about what to do with the zucchini, I julienned it (zuccaghetti-style) and stirred it into the finished risotto along with the butter and cheese and just let the heat of the rice cook the squash slightly. Used 2 2/3 cup broth in all. The only thing I would do next time might be to roll my batter-dipped blossoms in very fine bread crumbs to (hopefully) get the mozzarella to stay inside better. - QueenofGreen —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the risotto
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3-4 cups low-sodium organic chicken stock
  • 1 large zucchini
  • Butter
  • Fresh Basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the stuffed squash blossoms
  • 6 zucchini flowers with stems
  • 1 medium sized ball of fresh salted mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. To cook the risotto, finely mince the shallot. Heat a pot (I like to use a cast iron pot for my risotto) on high and add some butter and olive oil and turn the heat down to medium high.
  2. Add the shallot to the pot and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Arborio rice to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir the rice so it becomes lightly toasted, for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat up to high and add the white wine. Let the wine reduce slightly and season again with salt and pepper.
  5. Start slowly adding the chicken stock by using a ladle. I do not heat my stock before adding it to the risotto, but you may do this if you like. Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer. Stir frequently. As each ladleful of the stock is cooked down, add another.
  6. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente, about 20-25 minutes of cooking time. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon (or more!) of butter, lemon juice, and the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. For the zucchini blossoms, make a batter by whisking the egg and cold water together. Slowly add in the flour while whisking, being careful to remove any lumps.
  8. Dice the mozzarella into large chunks. Very carefully open up the blossoms and stuff the mozzarella inside. The blossoms can hold a lot of cheese and you can stuff with as much or as little as you like. Make sure the cheese is entirely encased in the blossom. Season blossoms with salt and pepper.
  9. Meanwhile, heat 3 inches of oil in a large heavy pot.
  10. Coat flowers in the batter, being careful to let the excess drip off. When the oil has heated to 375 degrees, add the blossoms two at a time. Cook in the oil for about two minutes, turning them over if necessary. They are done when they have turned a nice golden brown.
  11. Remove flowers from the oil and place on a paper towel. Immediately season with salt and pepper. Cook remaining blossoms two at a time.
  12. Plate risotto and sprinkle with fresh basil and more parmesan cheese if desired. Top each dish with 2-3 blossoms and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • QueenOfGreen
  • SarahMK

2 Reviews

SarahMK July 13, 2010
I am missing a step between 5 and 6- thank you for pointing this out. Grate the Zucchini on the large side of a box grater. Press a dry towel into the zucchini to squezze out some of the water. When the risotto is about 3/4 of the way done, add the zucchini to the pot to cook through.
QueenOfGreen July 12, 2010
What do I do with the 1 large zucchini?!