courgette risotto with tarragon recipe

mixed courgette harvestThis risotto looks good with different coloured courgettes and plenty of courgette flowers. It has a delicious, creamy and gentle taste.

serves 6-8

  • About 1.5 litres of good vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 small to medium-sized courgettes
  • A few strands of good-quality saffron
  • Small bunch of tarragon
  • 500g Arborio rice
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 150g Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
  • Some courgette flowers (if you have grown some, or can find some)

Put the stock on to heat.

Gently fry the shallots and garlic in the olive oil.

Slice the courgettes and add to the pan with the saffron and most of the tarragon, coarsely chopped.

Add the rice, making sure that it is well coated with the oil before you add any liquid.

Pour in the glass of wine and allow it to bubble up and evaporate before you season with salt and pepper and begin to add the stock, a ladleful at a time, while stirring continuously. The rice must absorb each addition of liquid before you add the next.

Keep adding more stock and stirring in until the rice is al dente, which may take up to 20 minutes.

When the rice is ready, stir in the unsalted butter and Parmesan, and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more wine if necessary. Tear the courgette flowers into strands and scatter most of them over and through the rice. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or so.

Scatter with the remaining tarragon leaves and more courgette flowers strands, and serve with plenty of extra Parmesan.

This recipe appears on p182 of Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook.