It’s the tail end of summer and i’m not ready for fall. I want a few more sunset barbeques and lots of garden tomatoes. This risotto came about with a grocery store deal on 5 ears of sweet white corn and a taste for some stick-to-my-ribs comfort food. I love making risotto, and have never understood why people think it’s a difficult dish to perfect. Hopefully I can demystify risotto a little bit because it’s really quite easy! This recipe can be adapted to accommodate endless combinations of vegetables and herbs. My latest favorites have been butternut squash with sage, and carrot, lemon and dill. Vegan risottos are easy to do by omitting/replacing the cheese and butter from this recipe. Lately i’ve been thinking about making a vegan snap pea risotto thickened with coconut milk… but I digress…
Half a stick of butter, divided
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 leeks, white parts only, sliced 1/4″ thick
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
5 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
5 ears of white corn
3 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
64 oz. vegetable broth
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small bunch basil leaves, chopped
Place the vegetable broth in a pan on low heat while you prepare the onion/leek mixture.
Melt half of the butter and all of the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Saute the leek and onion over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 min. Add tomatoes and cover, stirring occasionally for 8-10 min. While the tomatoes are cooking, cut the corn from cobs with a sharp knife and set aside.
When the tomatoes have gotten juicy and fallen apart, add the rice.
Turn the heat down to low and add the white wine. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
Start adding about a cupful of vegetable broth at a time to the rice mixture and stirring until the liquid has disappeared. Continue slowly cooking, adding and stirring until all the broth is gone and the rice has plumped up and softened. This process takes about 30 minutes. Some people prefer their rice more al dente or the dish more soupy, so when the risotto is almost to your liking, stir in the corn, basil, parmesan, and the rest of the butter. Serve with red wine, a green salad and a good crusty bread.