1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 stem celery, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup (180g) arborio rice
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) chicken or veggie stock
3 big ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped or 400g diced tinned tomatoes
2 small zucchini, diced or ‘half mooned’
1 small tin of sardines or tuna (optional)
lots of parmesan cheese
It’s called a risotto, but when I make this I feel like any second somebody’s going to come knocking on my door in a bad mood, to tell me that this is definitely not risotto. One pot, baked arborio rice doesn’t count, they’ll say. But it’s really yummy like risotto, I’ll say. And it’s used up a zucchini, and tomatoes, and garlic. And then we’ll eat it from the pot while it’s still warm and be friends and totally forget about words like risotto. Anyway, this is essentially a classic Bill Granger recipe, with some extras thrown in. It’s pretty simple, and a reliable no-fuss winner.
You could stir in a pack of tinned fish with the zucchini, for a tuna or delicious sardine version.
Baked zucchini risotto
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Find an oven proof pan with a well fitting lid, and warm that up on the stove with the oil. Add in onion, celery and leek, season with a good pinch of salt and soften those for a good 5 -7 minutes.
Stir in the rice and let that be coated in the oil for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic.
It’s smelling nice, the garlic is warmed up. In goes the stock, tomatoes and zucchini. Tinned fish too, if you’re using it. Get that all up to a simmer, add some black pepper and some grated parmesan, stir and put the lid on.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then serve loaded up with parsley and more parmesan.