Risotto with Fried Zucchetta and Zucchini Blossoms

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Batter

In a stainless steel receptacle, whisk the egg, water, sifted flour, and a bit of fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.

Cover the receptacle, and let the mixture rest for 2 hours at room temperature.

When ready to use, add the chopped garlic tip.

Step 2: Zucchini

With the tip of a thin bladed knife, cut 12 thin bands of skin from the zucchetta, 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) long. Trim the edges so that they are nicely parallel. Wash these bands delicately under running water, and pat dry between two pieces of paper towel.

Dice the zucchini into an even salpicon.

Stalk and chop the basil.

Delicately remove the stem and the bottom of the zucchini blossoms. Split in half lengthwise, and shred them into strips 1/5 inch (5 mm) wide.

Around 5 minutes before serving the risotto, dip the zucchini blossoms into the batter flavored with the chopped basil. Drain, and plunge one by one into a 320°F (160°C) deep fryer filled with the grapeseed oil.

Brown them slightly, remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

Season immediately with fleur de sel and keep in a warm place.

Do the same to the zucchini skins.

Choose a piece of Parmesan that is not too dry, and cut out a 2 x 3 1/2 inch (5 x 8.5 cm) rectangle. Slice on a slicer set at position 5 to obtain very thin slices. Shape these slices like wood shavings, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Step 3: Risotto

Heat the light chicken stock and consommé in a pot without boiling to avoid reducing.

Peel and finely mince the onions.

Heat 1/2 cup (10 cl) of olive oil in a saucepan, add the minced onion and the rice, then sweat. It is essential to stir the risotto with a wooden spoon or spatula constantly as it cooks. When the rice has become translucent, add the white wine, and let it evaporate completely.

Cover with the mixture of light chicken stock and consommé, and simmer the risotto gently. When the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, cover almost to the top of the rice. Repeat this same procedure five or six times.

After 10 minutes’ cooking time, add the raw zucchini salpicon.

After 18 minutes, the rice should be cooked. Add 1 1/2 cups (40 cl) of butter, 3 1/2 tablespoons (5 cl) of extra-virgin olive oil, and the grated parmesan, stirring constantly.

Step 4: Plating

Heat the veal jus in a small saucepan on the edge of the range.

Season as needed, then spoon the risotto attractively into the center of the serving plates. Top with the fried zucchini skins and blossoms, as well as the parmesan shavings.

Pour a ribbon of veal jus around the plate, and serve immediately.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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