Thursday, August 27, 2009

Late Summer Vegetable Delight

Last night we got a little fancy. We picked up yet another round of corn and zucchini from our CSA this past Monday and made zucchini and corn risotto with a side of vegan stuffed zucchini blossoms. Greg was in charge of the flower filling, so I'll leave that blog post for him.

As for the risotto, ugh. So good, but such a pain in the butt to make. Maybe it's the brand of rice we bought? We have no clue. But for some reason, every time we make it, although it's totally worth it at the end, it takes forever and our arms get sore. We decided to conquer the beast once more, thinking maybe this time it will actually take us less than an hour. It didn't.

Zucchini and Corn Risotto (vegan)

1/2 medium size onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 cups arborio rice or risotto - for some reason rice labeled arborio rather than risotto tends to be cheaper, but it seems to basically be the same thing?
1/4 cup white wine
5 cups vegetable broth, heated
Corn kernels from one stalk corn (cooked)
1 medium size zucchini, chopped
1 TBSP Earth Balance
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up two swigs around the pan of olive oil over medium heat and toss in chopped onion. Sautee for 4 minutes or so, until onion soaks up some of the oil (but not all). Add rice and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and stir on and off for about a minute or so, making sure the rice doesn't stick to the pan. Deglaze (Tamar's favorite cooking action word!) the pan with white wine and let alcohol cook off for about a minute while - yes, you got it - continuing to stir the contents of the pan.

Now for the fun part (it's fun for about 3 minutes, then we start to get impatient, grumpy and hungry).

The trick is to balance the stirring and the addition of the vegetable broth. Add one ladle of broth at a time, continue to stir rice and wait until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next ladle of broth. Some people claim you have to continuously stir, others say you don't. It really depends how motivated you are - we stir, occasionally get tired, walk away to change the song on the playlist, come back to stir... you get the point. As your broth supply dwindles, add the zucchini and corn so that the zucchini starts cooking. Also begin to taste the rice to see if it's getting close to being cooked; we like our rice firm, but not crunchy.

You may use all the broth we say to use, you may use less, or you may run out and start using water - use your bite to figure it out, don't trust us. We had about 4 cups set aside of broth, and ended up having to add about a cup water to finish cooking the rice. It was annoyingly frustrating since it seemed to never end, but there was a turning point during which the rice magically cooked in a matter of a minute or so after we added the last batch of water.

When all is said and done - rice tastes nice and creamy, zucchini is cooked - stir in that tablespoon of Earth Balance and add sallt and pepper to taste.

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