Risotto is a classic and clean dish with only a few ingredients, making it a great weeknight meal or side. Arborio rice is suspended in a creamy sauce of wine and broth, finished with a bit of butter and Parmesan cheese. Here, fresh corn kernels add texture and a delightful pop of sweet flavor. To contrast this mild and comforting dish, I added a vibrant basil oil and some grilled shrimp. I love the juxtaposition of the pale yellow risotto with the green herbs and the bright pink shrimp. And the flavor combination is out of this world.
You probably know that the key to a silky risotto is a watchful eye. It’s important to stir the risotto constantly so that the starch from the rice thickens the broth into a creamy, velvety sauce. To maintain the toothsome bite of the Arborio rice, stop adding broth when the grains are al dente. Make sure to finish the dish with high-quality grated Parmesan.
Fresh Corn Risotto
from Food & Wine
makes 6 servings
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups sweet white corn kernels (from 3 ears of corn)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tblsp unsalted butter, cubed
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf. Keep the stock warm over very low heat.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions. After about half of the stock has been added, stir in the corn, then add the remaining stock. The rice is done when it’s al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the cheese and butter;, season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaf.
3. To serve, drizzle with basil oil and top with grilled shrimp.
2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a food processor, pulse together the basil, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper until chunky and combined.
2. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until smooth.
serves 2 to 4
1 dozen large wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Before starting the risotto, marinate the shrimp. Combine all ingredients and add the shrimp. Let marinate in the fridge while you make the risotto.
2. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp until bright pink and opaque, about 5 minutes.