Going into last week, the only meal planning I did was to buy out half the freezer section at Trader Joe’s. Do you ever have weeks like that? We were down one weeknight because of Labor Day, my husband was at meetings two of the other nights of the week, I had happy hour plans on Friday, and a couple of other afternoon commitments that meant my number one priority would not be getting dinner on the table. So imagine my surprise when the idea of Shutterbean’s risotto popped into my head one night. My mother in law had gifted me some arborio rice, I had two ears of corn I had never dealt with dying in the fridge, and lo and behold, I had all the other necessary ingredients. I love when this happens. When you remember a recipe you saw, and you just happen to have everything you need for it. That’s when you know a dinner is meant to be. Also when it calls for a cup of Parmesan cheese.
To make corn risotto for 6, you will need:
- 1 T olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T fresh chopped basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 T fresh thyme leaves
- 2 T unsalted butter, plus more for coating dish
- 2 C Arborio rice
- 2 C fresh corn (about 2 cobs)
- 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Just as the onions are done cooking, stir in garlic and cook for another minute. Add fresh and dried basil, red pepper flakes, thyme and season with salt & pepper. Toss to heat through and set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together uncooked rice, corn, cheese, and the onion mixture. Place in the prepared baking pan. Pour vegetable stock and water over the rice mixture. Stir gently to ensure even cooking.
Place in the oven and allow to cook, uncovered, for 37-40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes. At the halfway mark, stir in butter. Rice is done when liquid is absorbed and mixture is cooked through and creamy. If rice mixture is still crunchy, add more hot water or hot chicken stock about 1/3 cup at a time.
When cooked through, remove risotto from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before tasting. Add salt to taste. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves, black pepper, and additional Parmesan cheese. Rice will last, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days.