Zucchini & Summer Squash Risotto

zucchini & summer squash rissoto

Executing this recipe the other night reiterated two things:

1. Making risotto is not hard. It just requires a bit of attention. A drawing pad, crayons & a high chair made this possible!

2. I should never take for granted having neighbors who drop off buckets of homegrown vegetables at my door. NEVER.

waiting on my doorstep

My friend Lana seduced me with her batch of pattypan risotto last week. Her son Alden is a week older than Cooper, so we commiserate in the battle of getting veggies into our carb loving sons!  If you need to hide some veggies in a dish for your children, this is a good one to try! If you have a significant other who LOVES risotto, this will not disappoint!  Casey ate A LOT!

This risotto is very light & creamy. The zucchini & summer squash melt right into the risotto; adding a bit of sweetness. The Parmesan & lemon juice additions at the end are key! They jazz up the risotto perfectly! It’s OK to go heavy handed on them!  Thank you Lana & Helen for the inspiration. This will definitively be in our rotation!

Gather your ingredients before you get started. Boil your water in a kettle! Yer gonna need it!

zucchini & summer squash rissoto

Grate your zucchini & summer squash. Set aside.

squash grating

Sweat the onions in a pan with olive oil until translucent. Add your rice.

onions sweated, arborio rice enters pan

Add the wine and cook down. Now start adding your hot water, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep the rice lubed.

hello wine!

After about 15 minutes, add in your grated zucchini & summer squash. Stir stir stir!

hello squahs!

While that’s cooking, get your grated Parmesan ready. MMM cheese.


When your risotto is just about done, toss in your cheese.

parm enters the pic

Add a squeeze of lemon…or two.


Add some butter to make it a little creamier.


Serve it up in a bowl with few shavings of Parmesan cheese…another squeeze of lemon…


And yer good to go!

Zucchini & Summer Squash Risotto

(recipe adapted from Beyond Salmon)

  • 4 cups water (vegetable stock could be used as well)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 medium summer squash, grated
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • A handful of grated Parmesan
  • Salt

Pour the water into a kettle and bring to a boil.

Set a medium-sized, heavy sauce pan over med-low heat. Add the oil and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until completely translucent and tender.

Turn up the heat to medium, add the rice, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-4 minutes or until the grains are mostly translucent and only white in the center.

Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed.

Add enough water to cover the rice by 1/2 inch (about 2 cups), 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt), and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup water at a time to keep the rice lubricated and stirring as necessary. The less water you have in the pot, the more you have to stir.

After 15 minutes of cooking the rice with water, start tasting it. When it’s still a bit crunchy, but close to that perfect al dente stage, stir in zucchini & summer squash. Season with salt to taste, and continue cooking stirring constantly and adding water 1/2 cup at a time as necessary so that the rice doesn’t stick. Taste the rice every few minutes and as soon as it’s almost tender, but still toothsome, turn off the heat.

Add a bit more water if risotto looks stiff. Stir in the butter and a little cheese . Reserve the rest of the cheese to sprinkle on top during serving. Give it a good squeeze of lemon, taste and correct seasoning (you might need more lemon juice and/or salt). Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with good olive oil.

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