Monday, January 23, 2012

Saffron Shrimp Zucchini Risotto

Yup, it's another risotto recipe.

This dish is a staple in my household. I love that it's a base upon which you can demonstrate your kitchen creativity. Many combinations of proteins, vegetables, and spices work.

One of my favorite ingredients to lob into risotto is saffron. While normally reserved for paella, it works great in risotto (they are both rice dishes after all).

In fact, this dish is sort of like a risotto-paella hybrid, now that I think about it.

In addition to saffron, this recipe contains two types of roasted vegetables: zucchini and cherry tomatoes. I love roasting them in the oven to give them that extra oomph and texture for when they hit the rice.

And of course, shrimp, which tastes great with the saffron. I finish this seafood risotto that same way I do all of my seafood risottos—with a fresh squeeze of lemon cheese (no cheese here!).

Saffron Shrimp Zucchini Risotto
Serves 2-3 people
Cooking time: about 40 minutes
Dairy-free; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Do the same thing with the zucchini.
  3. Spread the cherry tomatoes evenly over a cookie sheet. Do the same thing with the zucchini on another cookie sheet.
  4. Roast both in the oven until they're tender and gently caramelized (about 15-20 minuts for the tomatoes, and a little bit longer for the zucchini). Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the risotto by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. 
  6. Add the shallots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and cook for one more minute. Then, stir in the rice, coating it with the oil, and cook for another two minutes. 
  7. Pour in the white wine, stirring until it's absorbed by the rice. 
  8. Once the wine has been absorbed, add 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock and the saffron. Stir until the stock is absorbed before adding another 1/2 cup at a time. Continue adding stock and cooking until the rice is al dente (note: you may not use all of the stock).
  9. Once the rice is almost cooked, add the shrimp and a little more stock. Continue cooking until the rice is tender and the shrimp are cooked through. 
  10. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and the roasted zucchini. Squeeze in a little lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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