There is nothing better than the sweet flavor of summer corn on the cob. This fresh corn risotto is bursting with flavor that screams lazy summer days. This vegetarian dish is perfect as a light main course with a salad and fruit. But don’t relegate this recipe to a meatless meal, the creamy risotto can stand up to grilled meats.
There are hundreds of types of risotto, but all the recipes are based on the wonderful character of arborio rice. This short, pudgy oval-shaped grain has a pearly white sheen and releases starch when cooked which creates a luscious creamy texture around a chewy grain.
Pairing the natural creaminess from the rice with the sweet flavor of the corn makes this fresh corn risotto the perfect dish to showcase the flavors of summer.
Cutting Fresh Corn from the Cob
Technically, corn is a grain rather than a vegetable. The corn cob is the flower of the plant and each kernel is a seed.
To cut an ear of corn—stand shucked corn cob in the center of a large cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from each side and rotate the ear of corn to expose more kernels.
To get the corn milk and pulp—use the back of the knife to scrape the knife gently up and down to the cob to remove any remaining corn milk and pulp.
Tips for Making Creamy Fresh Corn Risotto
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and keep it at a simmer so you are adding hot stock to the hot risotto. This helps the rice cook evenly and protects against gummy risotto.
- Add the liquid in batches. The risotto will tell you when it is ready for more liquid. Adding the stock all at once just boils the rice and won’t produce a creamy risotto.
- Stir the rice, just enough. You want to protect the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and release some of the starch that comes when the rice grains rub against each other as you stir. But you don’t want to add so much air that the rice cools and becomes gluey.
- Cook the risotto over medium heat. Low enough to extract the natural starch in the rice, but hot enough to cook the risotto. Using the proper sized pan also helps maintain the proper cooking temperature and will help with producing a creamy risotto.
Fresh corn risotto is bursting with the sweet corn flavor. This vegetarian dish can be served as a light main course.
- 3 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs (4 cups of corn kernels), see the instructions for how to get all the corn milk from the cob
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 large shallot, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 green onions, (both white and green parts) thinly sliced, (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1–2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, (about 1 ounce)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Shuck the corn and remove as much of the silks from the ears. Stand a corn cob in the center of a large cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from each side of the corn cob. Repeat to remove the corn from all three corn cobs.
- Using the back of the knife, scrape the knife gently up and down to the cob to remove any remaining corn milk and pulp.
- Mince the garlic and shallot.
- Thinly slice the green onions and add the white parts to the shallots and garlic.
- În a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the Arborio rice, minced shallot, minced garlic, and white parts of the green onions and saute for 3-5 minutes until the shallot turns translucent and the rice whitens and begins to turn translucent around the edges.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the vegetable stock to a simmer and stir in the corn milk and pulp that you removed with the back of the knife. Do not add the corn kernels to the stock.
- Stir in 1/4 of the stock and corn milk mixture into the risotto and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir frequently, but let the rice do its thing so the risotto isn’t agitated too much.
- When you can draw a spoon across the pan and can see the bottom, it is time to add another cup of liquid. Repeat adding more liquid until the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente. (This process can take up 30 minutes.)
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the corn kernels, fresh thyme and green onion slices. Cover and let rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and creme fraiche and stir to combine. Taste and add pepper and as kosher salt to taste. Finish with lemon juice and serve in shallow bowls.
Fresh Corn Risotto is a light main dish or can be a side with grilled meat.
You may need to add a bit more liquid to get the proper consistency.
Can substitute sour cream for the crème fraîche, just make sure to add it at the very end since it could break or curdle if brought to boil.
Finish with cheese add the end and tate before adding the kosher salt so the risotto is seasoned to your taste.