Summer Corn Risotto in Sweet Corn Broth

By • July 30, 2011 14 Comments

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Author Notes: I made corn risotto today using the usual chicken broth but I was disappointed with the flavors. The broth seemed to overpower the delicate, sweet flavors of the corn.

As I was pondering what I could do to fix it, my first thought was to use vegetable broth. As I headed to my pantry, my eyes fell upon the pile of corn cobs I had discarded on a plate after taking off the corn. And I had an "a ha!" moment -- use the cobs to make a corn broth!

My husband did the taste test and he pronounced it a keeper! - Susige

Food52 Review: Terrific! This is an excellent risotto and a great showcase for summer corn. The stock really sets this apart from the many other corn risotto recipes out there. It's as inventive as it is delicious. An added bonus is that it’s incredibly easy to make.theediblecomplex

Serves 6 to 8

Sweet Corn Broth

  • 5 to 6 cobs of sweet corn, raggedly stripped (reserve corn kernels for risotto)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  1. Add water to a large sauce pot with a lid. Add the salt and the smashed garlic.
  2. Break the corn cobs in half and toss them into the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and then immediately turn the burner to low, then cover and simmer for one hour.
  4. After simmering for an hour, discard the smashed garlic pieces. Then pick up each corn cob with tongs and using the back of a large knife, scrape the sides of each cob back into the pot to get all the goodness still clinging onto it. Then discard. Please, do not strain the liquid.
  5. If you're ready to make the risotto, place the pan back on a low simmer and proceed. Otherwise, cool the broth to room temperature and refrigerate until ready to use and then bring the broth back to a simmer as you're making the risotto.

Summer Corn Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots (about two large)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups sweet corn broth, heated in a separate sauce pan
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (Reggiano is preferred)
  • 1 cup reserved corn kernels (or more, to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cold and chopped into cubes
  • 1 to 2 tomatoes, sliced and salted, if in season
  1. Heat the olive oil and the butter in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Then add the shallots and cook until they start to brown, stirring occasionally. Next, add the garlic and thyme leaves, stir to combine and cook one minute.
  2. Add the risotto to the saucepan and stir to mix with the shallot mixture. Continue cooking and stirring, two to three minutes, until the rice absorbs all the fat.
  3. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Stir to pull up any shallot mixture goodness from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the rice starts to absorb the wine, two to three minutes.
  4. Using a ladle, add three ladles of sweet corn broth to the rice mixture, stirring. Continue stirring until the rice absorbs most of the broth.
  5. Continue adding ladles of broth and stirring. One cup of rice should use approximately four cups of stock, sometimes more, sometimes less. After 20 minutes or more, the rice should start looking creamy. Stir and cook until the rice is tender to the bite and no longer crunchy. If you overcook it, the rice will be mushy.
  6. Turn the heat off the pan. Add the cubed, cold butter and stir vigorously. Add the Parmesan and one cup of the reserved corn kernels (or more to taste) and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for at least five minutes before serving.
  7. Serve the risotto with a few sliced tomatoes on the side salted with Kosher Salt and a dash of pepper. The brightness of the tomatoes marries well with the sweetness of the Summer Corn Risotto.

More Great Recipes: Risotto|Rice & Grains|Vegetables|Side Dishes|Corn

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Comments (14) Questions (0)


about 1 year ago mccsquared

Holy Parmesan! I recommend cutting the parmesan down to 1/4 cup. The full cup was a bit too much, and I never say that about cheese.


almost 4 years ago JaneEYB

I've made a lot of risottos over the years and I can honestly say this is one of the best I've ever made. It must be the sweet corn broth that makes all the difference though there is good flavor too from the shallots, garlic, thyme and Parmesan. So I wouldn't suggest making this unless you make the broth - though that can be done ahead. It's really creamy with only a tablespoon of butter and Parmesan added at the end. I served it with grilled chicken. Leftovers were just as good the next day, which isn't always true of risotto.


about 4 years ago Ms. T

Congrats on the EP--this looks lovely. Can't wait to try it!


about 4 years ago Susige

Oh wow! I just now saw that I made the Editor's pick.... I'm beyond thrilled! Thank you theediblecomplex for the review!


about 4 years ago Poppaj

Two cousins and four of their friends are visiting from Italy. They like to help in the kitchen, and when I made this (second course) tonight, they proclaimed me a genius when I used the corn cobs to make a broth. (Italians waste nothing in their cooking, but they'd never seen this.) I'd tried the recipe before and thought it excellent; so did the Italians. Have to admit that I took full credit for the dish, Susige. Just want to fess up, though, and say Grazie.


about 4 years ago Susige

What a wonderful compliment! And I'm so happy you claimed it as yours as well you should, but thank you for letting me know that it was a success! Grazie! ;0


about 4 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wonderful and I think the corn broth would be perfect in this dish!


about 4 years ago Susige

Thank you sdebrango! And you're right, the sweet corn broth did make a difference in this dish.


about 4 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

fantastic looking recipe!


about 4 years ago Susige

Thanks so much!


about 4 years ago Susige

Lizthechef, thank you so much! I'm learning! And this site is such a wealth of information and inspiring recipes by home cooks!


about 4 years ago EmilyC

Agree with Lizthechef -- very clever use of the cobs! This looks good, and nice photo too!


about 4 years ago Susige

Thank you, EmilyC! I'm new to writing recipes and taking photos too! It seems like I always forget a step...... ;0


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Love the corn broth idea - very clever. Nice recipe!