When I think of the perfect dish for a warm August evening, it would absolutely include the following ingredients: corn, tomatoes, and basil. Hence, today’s dish. This risotto is all about summer flavors and would be the perfect accompaniment to any grilled main course – I’m thinking my favorite herbed grilled shrimp, or seared salmon fillets, or even a big, thick steak.
Whatever you serve it with, you’ll be thanking your heavenly stars that sweet corn, tomatoes, and fresh basil ever found their way to planet Earth. And that you can find them quite readily in the produce department at Sendik’s.
And that it’s still summer.
RISOTTO WITH CORN, TOMATOES AND BASIL
Serves: 6 as a side dish
4 c. chicken broth
2 ears corn, shucked and cleaned of any silk
2 T. butter or olive oil
1 shallot or small yellow onion, minced
1 c. arborio rice
1/3 c. dry white wine
1 c. chopped plum tomatoes (Roma tomatoes are on sale)
2 t. olive oil
3 T. torn fresh basil leaves, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c. good quality grated Parmesan
Heat the broth in a pot or saucepan large enough to fit the corn over medium-low heat to just below a simmer. Simmer the corn in the broth for 4 minutes and transfer to a plate; reserve the broth and keep it hot. Using a chef’s knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob into a large bowl (you should have about a cup).
In a heavy based deep skillet or wide saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the olive oil) over medium heat. Add the shallot or onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with butter or oil. Pour in the wine, stir, and cook until the wine is absorbed, about 1 minute.
Ladle in about 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth, and cook stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 3-5 minutes. Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring and simmering until it’s absorbed each time, at intervals of about 3 – 5 minutes.
While the rice is simmering, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
When the rice is just barely tender, after about 16 minutes, stir in the corn. Continue adding more stock and stirring until the rice is creamy but still firm to the tooth, 20 – 25 minutes total. Remove from the heat, fold in the Parmesan and then the tomato-basil mixture. Top each serving wtih the remaining basil and serve immediately.
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