Zucchini and endive are unusual choices for a risotto. But when coupled with flank steak and grana padano cheese, the resulting risotto is rich and flavorful.
In the course of writing this column, I have done several risotto recipes. Some have included shellfish, some have included citrus, and there was one that even used red wine instead of white. But I’ve never made a green risotto because I’ve never used zucchini or endive. And I’ve never used zucchini or endive because they’re not vegetables I like. But the idea of a green risotto covered in cheese and meat intrigued me so much, I was willing to forgo my distaste of these two veggies. I’m so happy I did. The resulting entree from La Cucina Italiana was not only cheesy, meaty deliciousness, the two vegetables of which I am not a fan added a depth of flavor I did not expect. Yes, as with all risottos this one does take time to make, but the end result is well worth the extra effort.
Green risotto with steak
- 1 bunch endive, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound flank steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup grana padano cheese, shredded
- Boil two cups of water in a medium saucepan and cook the endive for five minutes, then drain and chop.
- While the endive cooks, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, endive and the salt and pepper and cook until the zucchini is tender, about three minutes.
- Combine the broth and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about three minutes. Stir in the rice until coated with the oil. Add the endive mixture and wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add one cup of the broth mixture to the rice and stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue to add the broth one-half cup at a time, allowing each to absorb before adding the next cup of broth until the rice is tender.
- While the rice cooks, toss the cubes of steak together with the paprika in a large bowl. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until medium-rare, about three minutes.
- Once the risotto is cooked and tender, stir in the cheese and butter.
- Divide the risotto among four bowls, top with the steak and extra cheese and serve immediately.
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