Weekend Recipe | Tom Aikens’ Courgette & Pistachio Risotto

To mark the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 23 – 27 May, Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea has launched a range of dishes designed by Tom Aikens, all incorporating British flowers. This elegant risotto with pistachio and courgette flowers looks as beautiful as it tastes.

Serves 4
400g risotto rice, 1 litre vegetable stock, 100ml olive oil, 6g salt, 8 turns of black pepper, 1 bay leaf, 3 medium shallots peeled and finely diced, 6 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 350ml white wine, 100ml pistachio oil, 1 tbsp chopped pistachios.

Courgette Puree

4 courgettes, 2 inside of courgettes chopped finely, 1 clove of garlic chopped finely, 25g butter, 50ml oilive oil, 6g thyme, 2g salt, 75ml vegetable stock, 7 turns of black pepper


2 courgette flowers trimmed and opened, 10g crème fraiche, 5g grated Parmesan, 8 basil leaves ripped, 8 basil leaves for garnish, courgette puree, fresh Parmesan, 25g diced courgette, pistachio oil, 16g chopped pistachio, a dash of lemon juice


To make the risotto:
1. Heat a large sauté pan on a low to medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat off the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper and bay in the olive oil, cook for 3-4 minutes till just tender.
2. Add the rice and chopped pistachio, cook for 3-4 minutes stirring all the time so they soak up the excess oil. Add the white wine and cook till absorbed which will take a minute or so.
3. Slowly add the vegetable stock to the rice, it will take around 16-18 minutes to cook. In the meantime make the puree.
To make the courgette puree:
1. Cut just the outside of the courgette so you are taking off a thickness of approximately 0.5cm, so the courgette will look square, then chop the outside finely, and then the white part too.
2. Heat up a pan on a low medium heat add the olive oil then the butter, once it has just melted with no colour, add the courgette, seasonings, thyme and garlic, cover with a lid and cook for 6-8 minutes till semi-soft.
3. Then add the vegetable stock and place into a kitchen blender and puree till very fine, then pass this through a fine sieve and cool.
To make the courgette dice:
1. Cut just the outside of the courgette taking off a thickness of approximately 0.4mm, so the courgette will look square. Then cut the courgette into a neat dice so that it’s nice and square.
2. Blanch this in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes so they remain a little crisp, then refresh in iced water to cool.
To make assemble:
1. Finish the risotto once cooked with the parmesan, crème fraiche and oil, adding the lemon juice to sharpen the flavour and then finally add the basil.
2. Sauté the courgette dice in a little olive oil and seasoning and sear the courgette stalk in a pan with a little olive oil and seasoning.
3. Sprinkle over the courgette dice, and then the other ½ courgette flower and the basil leaves, chopped pistachio and finally the oil.

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