Sunday, November 09, 2008

October 27, 2008: Baked zucchini and 'bacon' risotto

Safeway in Carlton has stopped selling a whole bunch of fake-meat products, so when Cindy stops by Allergy Block for something, she inevitably walks out with armfuls of ridiculous soy products. This week it was fake bacon, and she already had a meal in mind - a baked zucchini risotto with bacon on top thanks to Patricia at Technicolor Kitchen. The idea of a baked risotto suits my lazy cooking style perfectly - all the non-stop stirring required for a standard risotto means I can't wander aimlessly around the loungeroom while dinner's on (or that I can, but dinner ends up ruined). This is much easier: mix everything in a baking dish, bake, stir and serve.

Now I'm no risotto purist, but this came out as well as any stove-top stir-a-thon risotto that we've tried to make before - the grain's stocky and tender, the zucchini flavour spread deliciously throughout and the salty fake bacon strips adding a bit of texture on top. The whole dish was maybe a little on the salty side, but that's probably down to our lazy powdered stock as much as anything else. For an easy and delicious pile of comfort food, this is a weeknight winner.

Baked zucchini and bacon risotto
(a vegged up version of Technicolor Kitchen's recipe)

2 cups arborio rice
5 cups vegie stock
60g butter
500g zucchini, chopped into little half-moons
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper
145g soy bacon rashers

Preheat the oven to around 200 degrees.

Mix together the rice, stock, butter and zucchini in a baking dish, cover and bake for around half an hour. The risotto mix comes out of the oven quite liquidy, but thickens up pretty quickly once the cheese is stirred in and it starts to cool a tiny bit.

Add the parmesan, salt, pepper and parsley and stir for a few minutes until everything starts to thicken up.

While the risotto is cooking fry up some thinly sliced strips of fake bacon to drape artistically across the clumps of risotto you dish up.


  1. Facon!! Funniest stuff. Although the idea of real bacon is also quite strange to think about. and gross to think about. enough of that.

    The risotto looks great. I love the idea of the baked risotto, completely approve... why all that needless stirring?
    Baking is the answer again!

    PS Thanks to you both, Michael and Cindy, for updating the blog so often. I always love reading it.

  2. Ha! I went to Allergy Block on Saturday "just to look" and walked out with three kinks of Tart'n'Rond sweets and a new vegie-parmesan! I just can't help myself either ...

    I love the dea of baked risotto too. I am a crap stirrer and always end up scorching the pan, so this might be a more effective technique for me!

  3. I have never heard of facon before. :)

    I'm glad to know you like the recipe - Donna Hay's baked risottos are really great.

    Tks for mentioning my blog!

  4. Thanks, Cathy! We can definitely recommend trialling the baking method. :-)

    If you've looked at the dates on our posts you may have noticed that even though we update often, we are still more than a week behind - there is just too much good food out there to try!

    Miss T, I know that temptation well! I don't think I've ever left Allergy Block carrying only the items on my shopping list. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by, Patricia! Facon's not an entirely convincing substitute for the real thing, but all things considered I prefer it. :-)