Recipe: Sweet Corn Risotto
Risotto is one of my favorite things to make — both because risotto is one of my husband’s top five favorite foods, and because this dish gives flavorful chicken stock a chance to really shine.
I make seasonal variations of our weeknight risotto to keep everyone happily anticipating the time we make it. I’m not exaggerating when I say this late-summer variation is my best yet — the whole family concurs. The trick is to simmer the stripped corn cobs in the stock so the final dish is infused with the intense flavor of sweet, fresh corn. But we keep making it even late when corn is gone; frozen corn is a good shortcut.
While I’m glad my husband loved this latest take on risotto, I was most thrilled to see our kids happily devour their servings. My oldest has been eating solids for three years now, and I never tire of watching him at mealtime. There is something so primal and adorable about it. When we introduced him to solid foods, his obvious enjoyment was the first time I felt I could really understand what he was feeling — what’s more relatable than the essential experience of enjoying good food?
And that’s what keeps me looking forward to the next rendition of risotto.
medium ears corn, shucked
- 6 cups
chicken or vegetable stock, store-bought or homemade
large leek, white and light green parts chopped and rinsed
- 1 1/4 cups
- 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper
Cut the corn from the cobs. Place the stock and stripped corn cobs in a pot over high heat (break the cobs in half if needed). Once the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the cobs, scraping along the length of the cobs with a spoon or spatula to remove any extra liquid.
Coat the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the leek and a pinch of salt, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and stir until almost full evaporated, 1 minute.
Add a ladle of stock to the rice. Stirring often, continue adding stock as the rice absorbs each addition, until the mixture is creamy and the rice is cooked through but still firm (al dente), about 30 minutes. Stir in the butter, cheese, and corn kernels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.
If you run out of stock before the risotto is done, warm a little water to use for your final addition.
Substitute frozen corn: To substitute frozen corn kernels, skip the step with the corn cobs. Stir in 12 ounces (about 2 cups) frozen corn kernels with the final ladle of stoock (no need to thaw first). Warm until kernels are warmed through.