My love affair with squash blossoms continues. I’ve been so happy to find these at the farmers market lately. The last few times I got them, they ended up stuffed with ricotta and fried in a tempura-like batter. So good! More on that later.
But I wanted to do something different with them the other night, and wanted something quick and easy. I had gotten the squash blossoms on Sunday and it was already Tuesday, so they were starting to wilt a little, despite my efforts to keep the fresh in the fridge in a plate of water. So stuffing would have been a little harder with these, as they are fairly delicate even when fresh.
Yes, I do a lot of elaborate, time consuming dinners. But just as often, I’m busy and I want something I can put together in about 1/2 hour. One of my go-to’s is risotto, which is a comfort food for me, and something that the Rents are always happy to eat. It’s one of the few things that I learned how to make from my Italian grandmother during one of our summer trips to Italy when I was a kid. To go with the blossoms, I got a few small summer squashes in different colors and shapes, sautéed those and added them to the risotto about 5 minutes before it was done. Then I sliced up the blossoms, and added them just at the end.
Squash Blossom Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter divided
- 1 cup chopped onion 1 small, or 1/2 large onion
- 1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice I always use 1/3 cup per person, and since there were 3 of us…
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4-5 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
- A few small summer squash
- 12 squash blossoms
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Regiano Cheese
- Salt to taste
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy pot.
- Add the onion, season with a little salt, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook till it is absorbed.
- Begin adding the stock, about 1/2 to 1/4 at a time, stirring frequently. When it begins to be absorbed, add more stock, never allowing it to get too dry. Keep rice at a low-medium simmer. Add about a teaspoon of salt during the first part of cooking so that it has a chance to get absorbed into the rice.
- Meanwhile, cut the squash into small dice and sauté in a little butter in a separate pan, and slice the squash blossoms into fine strips.
- After rice has been cooking for about 20 minutes, add the cooked squash.
- Continue to cook until al dente (taste to check doneness), about 5 more minutes for Arborio, a bit longer (up to 30 minutes total) for Carnaroli. Adjust salt if needed, but be careful not to over-salt, as the cheese is salty.
- When the rice has become creamy, and tastes done, remove from heat and add the sliced squash blossoms, the cheese, and the remaining butter.
- Serve immediately with grated cheese to pass at the table.