Some of you already know that I asked for a goddess, and what a goddess I got! But as a follow up, I wanted to share with you that this goddess delivered! Because, soon afterward I had the house to myself. Completely. Husband out of town on extended business trip, kids out of the house to babysit a new dog. How do you spell heaven? Me?
e m p t y h o u s e.
To celebrate, I made myself a dish that no one appreciates with the same amount of enthusiasm: Marcella Hazan's zucchini risotto. A perfect way of using those bushels of zucchini I know you dedicated gardeners out there are growing.
Peel 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, slice into 1/2 inch discs.
In skillet, heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add half a cup coarsely chopped onions. Cover and let sweat a bit, as long as you can bear, ten minutes or so, stirring occasionally. This is to bring out their inherent sweetness. Raise the heat, and scatter your zucchini, stir to coat with oil and distribute into one layer. Add a clove or two peeled garlic, to saute with the zucchini (remove if they get too brown). The goal with the zucchini is to saute til nicely browned on both sides, 20 minutes or so. I have actually rarely achieved this, so do you best. Sprinkle salt after 10 minutes.
In saute pan, heat another 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and a 2 tablespoons butter. Add the zucchini, onions and garlic, (drained of fat, best as possible, from skillet); add 1 1/3 cup arborio rice, stir to coat.
Now comes the fun part. Using heated chicken broth, add half a cup at a time, until the rice has absorbed it. Keep adding broth, keep cooking rice, until the rice is ALMOST as your desired consistency (it will cook a wee bit more under its own heat). Add another tablespoon butter, and 3 tablespoons high quality parmesan cheese.
Pour pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Serve yourself a heaping bowlful.
That's what I did, and I raised my glass to Pele.
And by that, I mean, what have you fallen into, and need to shake yourself when you pause and re-enter the actual world around you? What has overwhelmed and enveloped you, carted you away? Let me know. I have a wide open summer and I am hungry for books to devour.