Recipes by Ian Harrison from Sugo, Images by Brydie Thompson
Courgette and Garlic Risotto with garden herbs and lemon
A yummy summer risotto that everyone will love. The courgette flowers you should find at any good farmer’s market. The better the extra virgin olive oil you use – the better the dish will taste and the less you need to use.
4 cups vegetable stock
2Tbsp Katikati Frantoio Olive oil
2Tbsp unsalted butter
1 & ½ cups risotto rice
1 onion or ¾ shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped from Pirongia Mountain Vegetables
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white wine
2 green courgettes from Abundant Backyard
2 yellow courgettes
6 courgette flowers
3-6Tbsp Katikati Frantoio Extra Virgin olive oil
8 Tbsp Freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano, grated
½ Tbsp chopped chives or green spring onion, chopped
½ Tbsp chopped mint, chopped from Liberty Growers
Have all the vegetables prepped, herbs cut and other items ready before you start cooking.
Once the rice is in the pot you don’t want to ever stop stirring the ingredients until the end. So, make sure you can stay put for the full 20mins.
Prep your courgettes by cutting into ¼ length ways. On an angle cut the white flesh from the courgettes (this part is extra watery and will make a mess of the final risotto) and throw away. Finely slice all the courgettes width ways-the finer the better. Remove the bottom of the courgette flowers and cut in half width ways and then half-length ways.
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a pot over a low heat.
Put a large flat based pan or pot over a medium to low heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is fully melted and getting hot-add your onions, celery and garlic. Season lightly with sea salt and fresh black pepper and cook for 5-10 minutes stirring every so often until soft and translucent not browned.
Turn up the heat to medium, add the rice, stir constantly, and cook for 2-4 minutes until you hear the rice almost frying in the pan, again being careful to not get any colour.
Add the white wine and stir until fully absorbed.
Add a ladleful of hot stock, stir, and wait until it’s been fully absorbed before adding more. Cook for 13 to 15 minutes, adding more stock every minute or so and stirring regularly, until the rice is al dente. This means it should be soft and a pleasure to eat, have a bite to the rice but not raw and still holding its shape.
At this stage add your sliced courgette to the pot and cook. The courgettes will add moisture as they cook-but it might need a little more stock-use your inner chef.
When happy, the rice and courgettes are ready, remove from the heat, add half the parmesan, half the EVO oil, chopped herbs, courgette flowers, season with sea salt and black pepper to your taste-Then leave for 2-3 minutes to relax.
To serve, divide between your bowls, drizzle with the left-over EVO and cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
You could change the courgette for broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or any other in season vegetables from the market. Just remember to keep the cut vegetables small so they cook quickly.
Change the parmesan for another hard cheese, ask the Mount Eliza team for their pick.
If you want to have it with seafood, add smoked Kahawai from Smokey Seafoods when you add the vegetables.