I’m so excited that summer is finally here in the Bay Area, and I mean a real summer with warm weather and sunshine and not the typical “June gloom” fog and cold wind we got last year.
This also means the farmers markets are busting out with colorful produce (although a bit strapped for some because of the winter drought). To me, the classic summer ingredients are tomatoes and corn, and they’re surely popping up at the markets.
Tomatoes and corn are a classic combination, so this risotto recipe is summer on a plate. The idea of cooking down fresh tomatoes with the risotto was inspired by my travels when I remember eating rice dishes that were accented by tomatoes. I love the savory and sometimes tart flavors of the tomatoes infusing the bland rice.
I used heirloom tomatoes (fun Marvel variety) but you can use any kind of tomatoes, just whatever’s fresh at your local market. Enjoy!
Summer Tomato and Corn Risotto
Makes two to three servings
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 corn, kernels removed from cobb (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1.5 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 clove garlic, finely diced
pinch of saffron threads
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (for garnish)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt for seasoning
In a medium saucepan or pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Then add onion and garlic, and sweat the onion until translucent (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add risotto rice and toast in pan for about a minute, then add white wine. Increase heat to medium high if needed to create slow bubbling.
After white wine is almost cooked off, add two ladles of broth. You’ll be slowly adding broth for the next 15-20 minutes to cook rice, while stirring rice to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. (Tip: Make sure the broth is warm so that you can maintain the temperature when added to the rice. Adjust the heat higher or lower to maintain a slow bubbling of the rice.)
After you added the broth for the first time, toss in the saffron and tomatoes and cook with the rice. Halfway through the cooking (about 10 minutes), add the corn. Continue cooking until rice is done.
When rice is cooked (about 20 minutes total), remove from stovetop and add butter and cheese, blending into the risotto to create creamy texture. Season with salt to your taste. Plate up risotto and sprinkle top with basil and additional grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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