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Sweet Corn Risotto

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Laura Doerr


For the corn stock (recommended)

  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed and reserved for risotto
  • 1 onion cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large carrot cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 celery rib cut into 1-inch chunks
  • dark green leaves from 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cups water

For the risotto

  • 6 cups corn stock see above recipe
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups raw corn kernels (from about 2 ears of corn) divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiana Reggiano (imported Parmesan cheese)
  • 1/2 cup fontina cheese finely grated
  • 1/2 cup mild piquante peppers (peppadew) quartered
  • 3 oz prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • olive oil


For the corn stock

  1. Combine all stock ingredients in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Liquid will reduce. Strain liquid stock into a separate bowl or large measuring cup.

  2. Add enough water back into liquid stock to make a total of 6 cups of liquid. Keep warm over low heat while you start risotto. Stock can be made ahead of time and frozen. To use from frozen state, thaw and heat in a large pot over medium heat until ready to ladle into risotto.

For the corn risotto

  1. If you haven't already, bring your 6 cups of corn stock (or vegetable/chicken stock) to a simmer so it is warm for ladling into risotto.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently place prosciutto slices on parchment making little nests. (see post for photo). Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crispy. Watch closely to avoid burning. Allow to cool, and crumble, set aside.

  3. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over med-low heat. Stir in minced shallot and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in arborio rice, and continue to stir until the grains are translucent. Pour in white wine, and stir until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice, and stir over med-low to low heat. Stir almost constantly until rice has absorbed all of the stock. Continue cooking and adding ladles of stock whenever the rice looks dry, about every 4-5 minutes. Once you've used about half of the stock, stir in 1 cup of the sweet corn. Continue adding stock for about 30-40 minutes, until rice is tender but not mushy, and most or all of the stock is used.

  5. While the rice is cooking, add the remaining 1/2 cup of corn and the peppers to a small skillet. Drizzle with a little olive oil and saute for about 3-5 minutes or until cooked and slightly charred. Season with pepper and the fresh parsley. (salt will come from prosciutto and cheese)

  6. Remove risotto from heat. Stir in the remaining 1 tbsp butter, parm and fontina cheeses. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls, and top with the corn and pepper mixture, and crumbled crispy prosciutto. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Recipe Notes

I highly recommend making the corn stock, it's the only way I've ever made this (so far). It is truly so easy to make your own vegetable stock, it really adds a depth of flavor and richness to the dish. Really great to make ahead of time and stock the freezer for soups!

If you don't have fresh sweet corn, opt for frozen as your next best variety.

The peppadew peppers are SO good. Tangy, sweet, and really adds a tart bite that the dish needs. I ordered mine from Amazon, but I think you may find them at Whole Foods or specialty stores that carry a bigger variety. See picture in Amazon link in post.