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I’ve got a super easy, super seasonal and super special recipe for you all today that is perfect for your next at home date night: my Easy Courgette and Lemon Risotto with Fresh Burrata.
I know, just sticking a ball of burrata on everything is really fashionable at the moment, but here the rich, light, creamy middle of this soft mozzarella-cream cross is just what you need to bring this simple courgette risotto to life. I set out to make a courgette risotto and was happy with it, it was delicious, but it was missing something. It needed a lift which is why, this time, burrata was actually the answer.
There are two things you need to do this risotto to get a really clean, clear courgette flavour, and a good risotto consistency.
First, you need to cook down half your courgette until soft and slightly caramelised (courgette is so good like this, I also serve it as a dip!) with the onions before adding the rice, a slight departure from other risotto recipes where you want to avoid adding any colour to your base vegetables at all, and then add in half the courgette raw at the end to really amp up the flavour, as you would some courgette pasta dishes.
Next, you need to remember that courgettes give out a lot of water. All the risotto recipes I give are averages, average cooking times and average liquid amounts, because when you look for a recipe you expect to be told how long it is going to take and how much of something you need to use. In reality, the size of your pan, how often you stir, the thickness of the bottom and the exact heat you’re cooking at will impact on how long a risotto will take and how much liquid you’ll need.
Yes I’m telling you this because it is good to know if you plan to make any risotto with success, but also because you need to keep this in mind when I tell you raw courgette, especially grated, gives out an awful lot of water. So you’re going to want to have the risotto rice almost, but not entirely, cooked before you add it, and you’re going to want to keep on stirring for a good 5 minutes before you can even start to know if you have the right consistency to finish the thing with cheese, lemon zest, seasoning and butter.
But seriously, this is still a really, really easy risotto recipe. All risotto recipes are easy to follow them, as long as you both follow them properly, and keep in mind where you might need to take the wheel a little to get perfect results.
So, here it is, the perfect light, rich, creamy courgette and lemon risotto to serve with a small ball of burrata (I like the one from Natoora, by the way!), lots of fresh basil and the rest of the bottle of white wine you were using for cooking this Friday night. With two small balls of burrata you’ll get two large, generous and indulgent portions, or you’ll get three smaller portions with three.
This Easy Courgette and Lemon Risotto recipe is taken to the next level with the addition of rich, creamy burrata and lots of fresh basil.
1 small onion
1 tbsp light oil
2 small courgettes
150g (5 1/4 oz) risotto rice
130ml (1/2 cup) white wine
770ml (3 1/4 cups) hot vegetable stock
30g (1 oz) freshly grated parmesan
zest of 1/2 lemon
large knob unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
2–3 small burrata
handful fresh basil, torn
Peel and finely chop the onion. Add it to a medium saucepan set over a medium high heat along with the oil and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just softened.
Meanwhile grate the courgettes. Add half the grated courgette to the pan and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the courgette is soft, translucent and no longer giving off any liquid.
Stir in the risotto rice and cook until the grains have heated through. Add the wine and keep stirring while it cooks away completely.
Reduce the heat to medium low and gradually ladle the stock into the rice a spoonful at a time, stirring almost continuously, until you’ve used up all the stock and the rice is pump, thick, and almost tender, but just shy of how you’d want risotto rice to usually be when you’re done adding the liquid.
Stir in the courgette and, stirring continuously again cook for a further 10 minutes until the courgette has softened, given out its water, and the risotto rice is at the preferred texture and consistency.
Stir in the parmesan and the lemon zest, season to taste, and stir in the butter. Serve as soon as the butter has melted and coated the rice in it’s gloss with a ball of burrata ready to be broken into each bowl, more parmesan and lots of fresh basil.
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