From Scratch, With Love

Who Knew Risotto Could Be So Summery?

with 2 comments

I took a half day today.  It was very exciting.  I went home, stopping at the store on the way, and was very productive.  I made some pita bread for my lunches (I froze it so that it could last me two weeks of lunches.  I recommend it.  When lunchtime comes around, I just put the almost-thawed pita in the toaster oven and make my sandwich.  It’s delicious.) and then I made risotto.

I love risotto.  It’s so delightfully creamy and comforting.  Usually, I just make “risotto in bianco,” which is just your basic cheese risotto.  But I was feeling adventurous.  So I looked in the White Dog Cafe Cookbook, which is filled with all sorts of interesting recipes, and found a recipe for “Tomato and Sweet Corn Risotto.”  Well, guess what?  I also stopped by our farmer’s market yesterday and bought some corn, with no clear idea in mind of what to do with it.  BAM. Idea.  It’s a great use of summer vegetables.

Another thing: I normally don’t feel like cooking anything all that spectacular when I’m eating alone.  Tonight, John went to a happy hour with his friends from work, so I decided to just make a nice meal for myself.  I’m really glad I did.  Though, I must say, risotto is not the kind of meal that is good left over, so I had to cut the recipe in fourths.  Not an easy task.  But I succeeded. Smiley face!

So, this risotto calls for you to make a simple corn-based stock, so give yourself about an hour and a half for the whole recipe, or make the stock in advance and give yourself half an hour.  Let me know if you want the recipe as it is written, for four, since I had to make some estimations and adjustments and this won’t necessarily multiply well.

Tomato and Sweet Corn Risotto (from the White Dog Cafe Cookbook) (1 main dish or 2 side dishes)


Cut the kernels off 1 ear of sweet corn.  Set the kernels aside for the risotto later.  Put the corn cob in a pot with 1 clove of garlic, 1 boiling onion (I forgot this ingredient.  It was fine.), 2 basil stems, 2 peppercorns (I didn’t have any so I just ground some pepper into it), 1 bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and allow to simmer for an hour.

After it simmers, strain the stock into a smaller, clean pot and discard the solids.  Blend 1/4 cup of the stock in a blender with 1/2 cup diced fresh or canned tomato.  Return the puree to the stock and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat, covered.


It’s a good idea to assemble all your ingredients beforehand with risotto, as it requires you to be close to the stove, stirring, for the majority of the process.

So, before you start, dice 1/4 cup of leek (the white part).  Mince 1 clove of garlic and set aside about 1/4 teaspoon of it (I put the rest of it on my salad).  Measure out a little less than 1/2 cup of arborio rice and 1/8 cup of dry white wine.  Dice 1/4 cup of fresh tomato and add to those kernels of corn that you had reserved from making the stock.  Chop up 1/2 cup of fresh basil and grate a little less than 1/4 cup parmesan or parmesan-like cheese.  You can do all this while the stock is simmering.  What an efficient use of time!

In a large saucepan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until it ripples.  Add the leeks and stir for about 2 minutes until they are translucent but not browned.  Add the garlic and stir for another minute or so until aromatic.  Add the rice and stir for about 1-2 minutes.  Add the white wine.  When the wine is absorbed, add just enough simmering corn stock to cover the rice and cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost absorbed.  Keep adding stock and stirring until absorbed for about 20 minutes.  You probably won’t use up all the stock.  Once twenty minutes are up, taste the risotto and see if the rice is tender, but with a little bit of a “bite”.  If it is a little chewy or starchy, it needs a little more time.  You can still, however, add the corn and the diced tomato at this point.  Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice is the right consistency.  Turn off the flame.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper.  Fold in the basil, then the cheese.  Decant to a bowl and eat hot, perhaps with a small green salad.


Written by poperatzii

June 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

2 Responses

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  1. This sounds so delicious, especially with the corn stock and that huge hunk of Parmesan!


    June 26, 2010 at 4:44 am

  2. […] lady behind the cheese counter for a parmesan-like cheese that’s a little sharper, for the Corn Risotto that I made a couple of weeks ago.  You can also use parmesan, or just more mozzerella.  Cheese, […]

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