Harvest Risotto

As I wind down my garden for the year, there always seem to be one or two stragglers. A zucchini or cucumber that hid under a leaf until late discovery. A tomato that's taken it's sweet time ripening on the vine. A cob of corn tucked in among the stalks. This creamy risotto asks you to give this late season stars a chance to shine.

While the stars of this risotto's crown are tomatoes and corn, you can grab just about any of the last of the summer veggies and work them into a tasty and colorful topping for this creamy risotto. I love using homemade broth in this, but you can opt for your favorite homemade broth instead. You can also use white wine for that first deglazing cup of liquid if you prefer. And while parmesan is traditional, any proper melting cheese will do. Make it yours.

Serve a light salad, steamed veggies, or sautéed mushrooms alongside this lovely dish. Oh, and pour yourself a glass of chilled white wine and enjoy an elegant meal any time of the week.

Harvest Risotto

  • 1 tsp. bacon fat - or other cooking fat of your choice
  • 1 ear corn, shucked and kernels removed
  • ½ c. mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 T. butter, divided
  • ½ c. onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 c. arborio rice
  • 6 c. chicken stock (you may not need all of it)
  • 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese

Melt the bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and sauté until the corn is shiny and beginning to brown a little at the edges. Add the cherry tomatoes and Italian seasoning and toss to fully coat in bacon fat and warm through. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Melt half of the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Set the remaining butter aside for later.

Add the onion and garlic; sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add the arborio rice and a pinch of salt to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until rice has absorbed any remaining butter.

Add 1 cup of the stock to the skillet to deglaze. Stir to incorporate, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7-10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the stock.

Add another cup of chicken stock and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the stock - e.g. no pools of liquid remaining on the bottom of the pan while stirring. Repeat this process, adding one cup of stock at a time and letting the rice absorb it between each addition, until the rice is cooked. When your risotto is ready, the rice should have a slight bite to it and be creamy. When you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan, the finished risotto should slowly seep back into the the opening in the risotto.

When the rice is cooked, remove the risotto from the heat and stir the remaining butter and all of the parmesan cheese into your risotto. Give it a taste and add salt if necessary. Top with the corn and tomato mixture and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes