{Dining in: Ramsay inspired risotto and race training begins}

Tonight for dinner, I pulled some inspiration from one of my cookbooks…

I loosely based my recipe on his baked zucchini and mushroom risotto. My take on it: Baked zucchini risotto w/ garlic scape pesto, sautéed mushrooms and Alberta beef bacon.

First, thinly slice 2 zucchini lengthwise and place them on a baking sheet.

Lightly cut a criss-cross pattern into each piece and brush with olive oil, pesto (mine was a homemade garlic scape pesto cube I pulled from the freezer and defrosted), and arrange thinly sliced garlic on each piece. Bake at 400 for about 20 min.

Meanwhile, I cooked up about 3 slices of this beauty I picked up at the Calgary’s Farmers Market this past weekend. Alberta BEEF bacon! Watch out pork, there’s a new bacon in town..

Roughly chop and cook in a pan on med high till crispy and lightly browned on the edges. Strain out the bacon and keep the fat to saute a handful of sliced button/cremini mushrooms till browned on the edges.

Meanwhile in a sturdy pot, heat up 1 Tbsp of olive oil and add in 1 cup of Arborio rice and cook for about 1 min. Add about 1/3 cup of white wine and let it reduce till almost dry. Add veg/chicken stock one ladle at a time stirring frequently, letting the liquid almost completely absorb before adding each ladle. In the end you’ll use about 2 to 2 and half cups of stock. I like to keep my parmesan rinds and throw one in my risotto while it cooks for added flavour.

When the zucchini is done, roughly chop and set aside.

When your risotto is cooked to Al Dente, turn the heat down to low and stir in about 3 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese. Add in your mushroom, bacon and zucchini..

I served mine on a bed of sautéed beet greens for some veg. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese, pepper, a light drizzle of black truffle oil and a swirl of my balsamic reduction I bought recently. Mm.. creamy and SO flavourful. Bacon really does make everything taste better.. Bon Apetit!

In other news, I’ve come out of my running hiatus last week ( I took a month and a half off of running after my marathon) and have signed up for the 2010 Canmore Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in support of CAUSE Canada this September. Let the training begin..

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