A Creamy Grilled Zucchini Tomato Risotto for a light summer dinner! Vegan & Gluten-Free.
Is it summer over there yet? We’ve heard reports of extreme heat in California, but even here in Slovenia, it’s omg hot! Like, close the blinds and turn on the AC hot. It’s the first heat wave of the season and I’ve already been living on salad and watermelon these past days.
I am staying on meals with minimal cooking, think salads, sandwiches, and fruit, but sometimes you need to eat something cooked. Right?
The garden has started to supply zucchini and I already have more than I can handle. And then there’s lettuce and cucumbers. And cabbage. So much cabbage.
It’s not difficult staying vegetarian when you have this abundance of produce to eat. That you actually have to eat or it will spoil. I have been to the store today for the first time in 2 weeks, because when I was hungry, I’d just open the fridge and get peaches, or go into the garden to harvest a lettuce head.
But today I finally caved, as we were already lacking basic staples, like bread (and no, I am not baking in this heat), yogurt and cheese for Mitja, and the like. And we just made burgers for dinner. We have not had burgers in forever.
But back to lunch and this Creamy Grilled Zucchini Tomato Risotto, totally vegan and gluten-free, healthy and delicious. A perfect light meal for when you want something cooked on the table in less than 30 minutes.
This Tomato Risotto contains grilled zucchini and peas, some herbs and spices and not much more 🙂 So it’s an easy one-pan meal for when you’re cooking for two, or even just for one.
Wash and dry zucchini, then cut into slices. Sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Peel and dice onion and garlic cloves.
Heat a pan on medium. When sizzling hot, add zucchini slices (do not overcrowd) and fry until golden, then turn zucchini slices and fry on the other side as well. When the zucchini are done, remove from pan and place on a plate with a paper towel to drain. Repeat until you've used up all the zucchini slices.
Remove pan from heat and clean with a dry paper towel. Return pan to the stove and add 1 table spoon of olive oil. When hot, add diced onions and stir-fry until translucent. Then, add garlic slices and rice. Stir well and gently fry until the rice soaks up the fat and juice, then add tomato sauce, stir and let it cook until the tomato sauce is reduced. Add water and stir in well, then season with salt, pepper and spices such as oregano, thyme and basil. Let the risotto cook on low for about 15 minutes, or until al dente, stirring regularly and adding more water if needed. When the risotto is almost done, stir in a handful of peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in also some of the grilled zucchini slices, but save some for topping.
When done, remove from heat and with a lid on, let the risotto sit for a minute or two. If you risotto thickens too much, stir in a splash of water before serving.
Serve hot, topped with the grilled zucchini slices and fresh herbs.