Saffron Zucchini Risotto Recipe

Want the best date night meal? Tanika Douglas' stylish saffron zucchini risotto may be the solution. Famous Italian risotto transforms rice into a masterpiece.

– 6 cups vegetable stock – ½ teaspoon saffron thread – 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided – 2 zucchini – 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter – 1 onion – 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced – 1 ½ cups arborio rice – ½ cup white wine – ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving – ¾ cup grated pecorino cheese, divided – ½ teaspoon salt – ½ teaspoon pepper



Bring vegetable stock to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and keep hot. Add 1 cup stock and saffron to a bowl. Set aside to steep.

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Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium-high pan. Sauté zucchini slices for 2 minutes per side until tender and golden brown. 

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From the pan, drain the zucchini on a paper towel-lined plate. Reservé. Add butter, remaining olive oil, onion, and garlic to the same pan on medium heat.

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Stir occasionally for 3 minutes to soften the onion. Add rice and saute for 2 minutes until translucent around the edges. 

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Keep half the fried zucchini slices for garnish. Add ½ cup hot stock and stir in continuously. After absorbing, add another ladle of stock. 

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Return to adding ½ cup stock, stirring, and letting rice absorb liquid until al dente. Some stock may be unused. 

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Switch off the heat after adding the saffron-infused stock. Add half the grated pecorino and chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Garnish the risotto with leftover fried zucchini, grated pecorino cheese, and parsley leaves. Enjoy now.

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