Zucchini Risotto with Capers and Pecorino

Somehow risotto is often seen as a dish that’s difficult to make. Several people (who absolutely love risotto) have told me they don’t dare to make it themselves, because the prospect of stirring for hours is too daunting. I had the same feeling when I made risotto for the first time, about ten years ago. But luckily, I soon discovered how relaxing it can be to prepare risotto and that it’s not that difficult at all.


risotto zucchini courgette capers lemon




True: I wouldn’t prepare it for a large dinner party, because I prefer making it in smaller quantities and risotto isn’t as good when made in advance. But after a busy day, there’s nothing like stirring some risotto until it’s cooked just the way you like it.







About that stirring: you definitely don’t need to stir vigorously for half an hour, just now and then to release the starch of the rice. You can also prepare risotto without stirring or cook it in the oven (and those methods do work fine), but I prefer the traditional method. This just gives me the creamiest result and it’s easier to “feel” when it’s done. Risotto is done when the rice still has some bite, but is creamy and tender.


risotto zucchini courgette capers lemon





I like the fact that you can add almost everything to a basic risotto. My favorite combinations are butternut with goat cheese, asparagus with Parmesan and this version with zucchini, capers and pecorino.






The salty capers add a great contrast to the creamy risotto, the zucchini keeps it light and fresh, the lemon adds a little zing and the grated pecorino gives this dish depth and extra creaminess.


risotto zucchini courgette capers lemon

Zucchini Risotto with Capers and Pecorino

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4 as a main course

Zucchini Risotto with Capers and Pecorino


6-8 cups (1.5-2 liter) vegetable stock
1 ½ -2 cups (300-400 gr.) risotto rice (Arborio or Carnaroli)
olive oil, to cook
1 onion, finely chopped
1 glass of white wine
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 small handful of salty capers
zest and juice of 1 lemon
a knob of butter
about ¾ cup (60 gr.) of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or use grated Parmesan)
salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Place the stock in a pan. Cover and bring to a slow simmer.
  2. Melt some olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add the risotto rice and cook for about 2 minutes, until rice is translucent.
  4. Add wine and cook about 2 minutes until it’s absorbed.
  5. Then slowly add the hot stock, about ½ cup at a time. Stir now and then and wait until the stock is absorbed, then add a new splash. Continue this process until the rice is just cooked; depending on your rice this will take between 20-30 minutes. Just add hot water when stock is finished earlier.
  6. When the risotto needs about 5 minutes more, add the chopped zucchini and continue cooking.
  7. When risotto is done, add the capers, lemon juice, salt & pepper (be careful with the salt, because the capers are salt too!), butter and half of the grated pecorino. Mix well. Add an extra splash of stock, turn the heat off and leave the pan covered for a few minutes.
  8. Serve the risotto with some grated lemon zest and the rest of the cheese on top.

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