Make Ahead

Summer Corn Risotto in Sweet Corn Broth

July 30, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
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 —Susige

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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. Sweet Corn Broth
  2. Add water to a large sauce pot with a lid. Add the salt and the smashed garlic.
  3. Break the corn cobs in half and toss them into the water.
  4. Bring the water to a boil and then immediately turn the burner to low, then cover and simmer for one hour.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  1. Summer Corn Risotto
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Scribbles
  • Theresa Owens
    Theresa Owens
  • Änneken
  • mccsquared
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T

20 Reviews

Susige July 19, 2020
I just found out today that Merrill Stubbs did a video showcasing my recipe! How cool!
myartofbeinghere July 19, 2020
Wonderful recipe! The video for this recipe with Merrill is great too, as I think she demonstrates how accessible this recipe (and making risotto in general) is.

I was glad to find our first round of corn this summer at the farmer's market and am celebrating with this recipe tonight!
Pookie13815 August 29, 2018
I found other recipes for sweet corn risotto but this recipe intrigued me. Made the broth as directed. I made the risotto in my Fagor Lux Multi-Cooker using the risotto setting for 7 min, cut back broth to 3 cups and added the corn after sauteing the rice. Perfection. Thank you for this recipe.
Deborah July 1, 2018
This is my husband’s very favorite thing I cook. We’ve been together 14 years, and I make a lot of stuff, so that’s saying something.
Scribbles August 15, 2017
So funny seeing this today as I made a version of this for dinner last night - a few extra things in the broth like peppercorns and a celery stalk and I used leeks instead of shallots and no additional garlic in the risotto. Totally delicious and definitely speaks to the sweet corn goodness of Summer.
Theresa O. August 14, 2017
Oh my - made this for the seond time tonight with just-picked sweet corn and it was divine! Made the recipe as written exceot backed off on the parmesan some and let folks add more grated parmesan at the table. This is summer corn in a bowl. Probably would use less butter next time but my husband says no.
Änneken October 6, 2016
As previous commentators have pointed out I also found the cheese overpowering. I'd definitely cut it down by at least one half next time. The combination with fresh tomatoes was outstanding. Loved it!
salena September 7, 2016
This is a wonderful way to use some of this summer's abundant corn harvest.
Risotto was excellent, wonderfully textured and naturally sweet. Thank you for this recipe. BTW: the extra kernels I microwaved for a few seconds and sprinkled over some lusciously fresh tomatoes.
mccsquared August 1, 2014
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.
JaneEYB September 2, 2011
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.
Ms. T. August 15, 2011
Congrats on the EP--this looks lovely. Can't wait to try it!
Susige August 14, 2011
Oh wow! I just now saw that I made the Editor's pick.... I'm beyond thrilled! Thank you theediblecomplex for the review!
Poppaj August 13, 2011
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.
Susige August 14, 2011
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
sexyLAMBCHOPx July 30, 2011
fantastic looking recipe!
Susige July 30, 2011
Thanks so much!
Susige July 30, 2011
Lizthechef, thank you so much! I'm learning! And this site is such a wealth of information and inspiring recipes by home cooks!
EmilyC July 30, 2011
Agree with Lizthechef -- very clever use of the cobs! This looks good, and nice photo too!
Susige July 30, 2011
Thank you, EmilyC! I'm new to writing recipes and taking photos too! It seems like I always forget a step...... ;0
Lizthechef July 30, 2011
Love the corn broth idea - very clever. Nice recipe!