It’s finally corn season, and what better way to fully enjoy summer than eating a delicious bowl of sweet corn risotto? This creamy, pale yellow risotto is speckled with chewy fresh corn kernels for pleasing consistency and taste.
Corn stock enhances the flavor of this meal, but chicken stock would still satisfy that craving if you don’t have the time to make the stock yourself. This corn risotto recipe is pleasingly light, providing a rich texture without it being heavy in the stomach.
Want to have corn risotto for dinner but your restaurant’s close sign is already up? Whip up your own using this simple recipe below.
What Rice to Use for Risotto
Risotto is typically made from short-grain rice or medium-grain Italian varieties, like Arborio, Vialone, Nano, and Carnaroli. In this sweet corn risotto, we’ll be using Arborio rice.
The arborio, a pearly and spherical medium-grain rice with the highest starch content of all the Italian rice varieties, is the most often encountered rice type for risotto in the United States.
If you have access to the varieties mentioned above, feel free to experiment with the recipe.
Sweet Corn Risotto Recipe
Once cooked, the al dente rice will be bursting with sweet corn flavor thanks to the whole kernels of fresh corn added to it.
Yield: 4 servings
Cooking Time: Approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup dry white wine (preferably sauvignon blanc or chardonnay)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2-3 corn cobs)
- 1 leek, finely chopped (light green parts only)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup minced shallots or onions
- ¼ tsp black pepper (or poblano pepper)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
Materials You’ll Need:
- Medium Saucepan
- Electric mixer
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Let it simmer while you make the sweet corn risotto.
- In a large saucepan placed over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil. Add in leek and shallots or onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the leek has softened (not browned).
- Add rice.
- Mix in salt and pepper to the mixture according to your taste. Cook while stirring continuously until the rice grains are slightly transparent.
- Pour in the white wine and simmer, stirring constantly until it is completely absorbed. This will take about 1 to 3 minutes.
- Cook while stirring occasionally until the rice is al dente or has absorbed all of the liquid. Add a ladle of boiling chicken broth one at a time.
- Continue to simmer and stir constantly. Add ladlefuls of broth as needed to keep the rice mixture moist. Stir in corn kernels after half of the stock has been added.
- Cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, the corn is soft, and the rice is creamy and tender. This may take about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the corn risotto from the stove and mix in basil, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and a cup of cheese. Let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- Whisk cream at high speed in an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Uncover the sweet corn risotto, fluff with a fork or a rice paddle, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in the chives, then fold in the cream in the final dish carefully. Serve warm in a small bowl for a quiet dinner or place in a large bowl for gatherings.
Corn Stock Recipe
You can use corn stock instead of chicken stock in the recipe. To make corn stock follow the recipe below:
- 2 corn cobs (kernels removed and reserved for risotto)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns, whole
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1tsp olive oil
- Dark green leaves from 1 leek
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- In a large saucepan, add onion, garlic, carrot, corn, olive oil, celery, and leek leaves with 6 cups of water.
- With the salt added, bring to a boil while gently stirring over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and let the liquid simmer for 30 minutes while covered.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer or rice washer, strain the mixture. Stir vigorously and season with salt and pepper if too bland. Make sure to pour in enough water while cooking to make 6 cups of corn stock.
- Don’t want to add cream? Before adding the corn to the risotto, puree approximately a third of the corn kernels in a blender with about 1/2 cup of the stock and a bit of butter and salt. All the starch from this mixture results in a very creamy risotto minus the cream.
- You can add sautéed shrimp, bacon, butter lobster, or any kind of meat to the risotto to make a more filling meal.
- If you have too much corn, you can use the remaining corn as toppings, along with green onions, fresh basil, olive oil, and any other toppings you prefer.
- You can use parmesan cheese if you don’t have Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Stirring frequently prevents the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot while cooking.
- You can use any white wine of your choice in making this recipe.
- Using a rice cooker to cook this dish is ideal if you’re worried about the risotto boiling over.
Is It Okay to Use Frozen Corn in Place of Fresh Corn?
While it’s best to use fresh and sweet summer corn whenever possible in cooking this corn risotto dish, it can be difficult to find one if it’s not corn season. You can opt for frozen corn instead, just ensure you’ll be using corn stock instead of chicken stock so you’ll still savor that sweet corn flavor.
The recipe for this delectable comfort food might seem daunting, however, the steps are actually easy enough for home cooks to follow. Indulge in that creamy corn risotto texture all by yourself or enjoy it with your whole family.
Want to try other dishes? Check out our other rice recipes.