We got a lot of zucchini and summer squash in our CSA boxes this summer, so I was always looking for new ways to use them up. I love basil, and have a love for ALL THINGS RISOTTO, so when I saw this recipe on PostPunkKitchen, I knew it was probably going to be a favorite. Although risotto is usually thought to be a "heavier" dish, this one tasted very light and summery. It's awesome for a summer night dinner on the patio. Jeremy isn't a fan of squash at all, and really doesn't even like things that it touches, so I got to eat this multiple-bowls-of-deliciousness all to myself : ) Oh, and did I mention that it's vegan? Because it is. But you would never know.
Basil Zucchini Risotto
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 med yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups (maybe a little more) of vegetable broth
3/4 cup pesto
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 lb zucchini, sliced and quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
Warm up the veggie broth in a saucepan, and keep it work with the burner on low. Preheat the oven to 425.
Saute the chopped onion, a dash of salt and olive oil over medium heat, until onions are soft and translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice in oil. Add the wine and stir occasionally until it is mostly absorbed. Add a few dashes of black pepper and 1/2 of the salt. Turn heat down to med-low.
Add the warm veggie broth a cup at a time, stirring almost continuously after additions. Once most the liquid is absorbed, add another cup, and so on. After 2 cups, stir in the pesto, then continue stirring in the remaining liquid until almost all liquid is absorbed.
At some point while your risotto is becoming creamy and delicious, toss the zucchini slices with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for about 6 minutes on each side, until softened and lightly browned. Set aside.
With the last cupful of broth added the risotto, also add the rest of the pesto. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Risotto is ready when the mixture is creamy, and the rice is chewy-yet firm.
Top risotto with pieces of zucchini and drizzle with extra pesto if you'd like.