Sweet Corn Risotto is a celebration of seasonal produce, allowing the natural sweetness and crispness of fresh corn to take center stage. Every spoonful bursts with the vibrant flavors of summer, transporting you to sun-kissed fields and breezy afternoons. The creamy consistency of the risotto envelopes the tender corn kernels, creating a symphony of textures that will delight your palate.
7 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
1 dried bay leaf
3 ears sweet corn, kernels sliced off of cob & divided
Parmesan rind (optional)
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated & divided
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry, unoaked white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 cup grated parmesan (approx. 2 ounces)
4 ounces prosciutto
kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
Prepare the corn stock: Add the vegetable broth, spent corn cobs, bay leaf, & parmesan rind (if using) to a large pot over high heat. Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a light simmer.
Cook the aromatics: Meanwhile, as the corn stock comes to a simmer, begin cooking the risotto. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once melted, add in the onion. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & cook, stirring occasionally, until softened & translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 cloves of the garlic. Stir to combine & cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes longer.
Toast the arborio rice: Stir in the arborio rice. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.
Deglaze & simmer the sweet corn risotto: Deglaze the pot by pouring the wine into the Dutch oven & using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed at the bottom. Cook, stirring constantly until all of the wine evaporates. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kernels from 2 ears of sweet corn & the bell pepper to the pot & stir to combine.
Working 1 cup or ladleful at a time, add the warm corn stock into the risotto, stirring frequently until the arborio rice absorbs all of the corn stock. Continue adding stock 1 cup or ladleful at a time & stirring frequently between additions. Start tasting for doneness after 15 minutes. The risotto is ready when the arborio rice is creamy & cooked through with a nice bite (i.e. al dente). This step will likely take 20-25 minutes total, & you may not need to use all of the broth.
Prep the proscuitto sweet corn topping: Meanwhile, as the sweet corn risotto simmers, prepare a quick prosciutto sweet corn topping. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the reserved butter in a small skillet. Once melted, add the proscuitto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the proscuitto begins to render. Add the remaining sweet corn kernels & garlic to the skillet, stirring to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet corn is cooked & the proscuitto is crispy, 3-4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat & set aside for serving.
Finish the sweet corn risotto: Once the arborio rice is perfectly al dente, finish the risotto. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter & the grated parmesan. Taste & season with additional kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired.
Serve the sweet corn risotto immediately, topped with proscuitto sweet corn mixture fresh herbs, extra parmesan, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper, as desired. Enjoy!