I make risotto occasionally but have never made it with zucchini or other summer squashes. My question is do you cook the squash before you add it to the risotto or grate it and add it as you are ladling the broth? TIA
Grate, and then incorporate it into the risotto about a 1/4 of the way through the ladling/cooking process with the broth.
I make a risotto primavera that calls for carrots (1/8" cubed), slender asparagus (1" diagonal pieces), 1 med. zucchini and 1 med. ylw. crookneck squash, both quartered lengthwise, seeded, & sl. into 1" pieces; Saute all these for 2 min. & set aside while you prepare the risotto (saute ch. onion; add rice, stir, add white wine, simmer, add broth in increments). Add the sauteed veggies, parmesan cheese, peas, butter, more broth, and thinly sl. basil and pignolis.
I do a combination, so that I have a really nice zucchini flavor throughout my risotto, but have identifiable pieces at the end.
1) grate a zucchini or two (depending on servings you are making), lightly salt, and squeeze out. Set aside for now.
2)Slice another one or two squash medium thick ribbons on a madoleine or by hand. Lightly salt and drain. Sauté the ribbons (which I cut further into shorter pieces of about 2") in a little olive oil and butter to add a bit of color and concentrate the flavor. Set aside.
3) Save any ends and trimmings while prepping zucchini's. Add these to your chicken stock/water/ liquid to add zucchini flavor to the stock base.
4) Add the grated zucchini not long after you begin adding stock, and let this 'melt' into your rice mix. You will need slightly less liquid due to the moisture of the squash.
5) When risotto is almost done, before you add any finishing butter/cream or cheese, fold in the ribbons, then finish your dish.
This can be nice with say, green grated squash, and yellow ribbons for some nice contrast, or vice versa.
I like to roast diced zucchini and/or squashes for risotto as I enjoy the texture and roasted flavour.