Zucchini Blossom and Artichoke Risotto
juice of 1 lemon
8 baby artichokes
8 baby zucchini with flowers
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely chopped leek
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Place 2 cups water and lemon juice in a large bowl.
Trim artichoke stems to 1/2 - inch. Cut artichokes in half lengthwise and remove tough outer leaves so that just the hearts and thin leaves are left. Trim about 1/2" off the tops. Place in lemon water.
Slice baby zucchini into about 1/4" rounds. Slice the flowers into thin ribbons. I like to leave a few flowers whole and wilt them into the risotto or use as garnish.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Remove artichokes from water and pat dry. Transfer to pan
and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes, or until
softened. Uncover and add zucchini, but not blossoms to the pan. Saute
until zucchini are tender crisp. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in vegetables and flowers. Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella. Sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with parsley if desired.