This sunshine in Vancouver has been absolutely amazing, but the particularly gusty wind is reminding me that it’s only just the first day of May, and still “spring” by all definitions. The sunshine has had me craving light spring pastas, while the wind has me wanting to run back to my hearty winter meals. I found a compromise as I took a page out of Gordon Ramsay‘s wonderful Healthy Appetite. It’s lovely and light like our sunshine, yet creamy and sturdy enough to fight the cold in the wind, and I added some chorizo for a bit of kick as I found this to be a bit flavourless on its own.
- 4 zucchini
- sea salt and black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- basil leaves
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil, with a bit more for drizzling purposes
- lemon juice
- 2-2 1/2 c chicken stock
- 1 c arborio
- 1 sliced chorizo
- generous 1/3 c white wine
- 7 oz wild mushrooms, sliced or chopped however you like
Putting it together
- Zucchini – Heat the oven to 400 F & line a large baking sheet with foil. Halve your zucchini lengthwise and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Arrange cut side up on the sheet and season. Sprinkle the garlic slices and basil leaves over your zucchini, then drizzle olive oil and a little lemon juice. Bake for 30-40 minutes until they’re soft. Let them cool slightly then roughly chop the flesh.
- Risotto – bring stock to a simmer in a pan. Heat another medium pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, for a minute then pour in your wine. Let it bubble and reduce until the pan is pretty dry, then add your chorizo. Then begin adding your stock, ladle by ladle, stirring frequently. Let the rice absorb most of the stock before adding more.
- When your rice is cooked – Stir in chopped zucchini and turn off the heat. Let it stand for a few minutes.
- Mushrooms – Heat a wide skillet and add some olive oil. Tip in your mushrooms, season, and toss over high heat for 3-4 minutes until they’re golden brown and moisture released has been cooked off. Mix your mushrooms into the risotto. (Feel free to add more stock for a wetter risotto).
- To finish – Stir in your parmesan, then divide your masterpiece among warm plates and sprinkle some more parmesan to top.