Monday, July 19, 2010

Meatless Monday | Fresh Corn Risotto

Y'all, I have never made a risotto in my life. I only use my slow cooker to make the occasional batch of bean burrito filling or homemade yogurt. Both are pretty awesome, but aren't what I would classify as cooking. The only thing I associate with slow cooking is pot roast with the usual potatoes, carrots, and onions. I ate that more times than I care to remember as a child. So my slow cooker lives on the bottom shelf under my counter where it waits oh so patiently to be used.

I came across a cool little cookbook called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker: Recipes for Two and as always it took some patiencs to find something that utilized fresh produce, but I found a few. Fresh Corn Risotto was actually at the bottom of my list to try. But I found myself with a lot of corn from my box, and I had already made two batches of Corn and Bacon Chowder. So I went and shelled out $8 for Arborio Rice and made it. It turns out, that cover of the book is actually this recipe. That should have been my tip off.

DELICIOUS! Mine was even a little overcooked and it was still tasty. All you have to do it saute the rice with onion, dump it in your slow cooker, pour broth over it and let it cook. Then you add the other ingredients at varying times. I did have some complications with the cooking times. I added the corn after an hour and a 1/2 like it said. For my slow cooker, I should have added it in after an hour and let it finish cooking for 30 minutes. I might even experiment with putting it on low for the last hour too. My rice was mushy... but it didn't stop either of us from chowing down.

I wasn't really sure if the book intended it to be a meal or a side. I assumed side and served it with some grilled chicken (obviously not served on Monday - oh the magic of blogging). We had some left over, which Dennis ate for lunch later (sans meat). In the future, it may just be an entree in its self. I might just add some shrimp on top next time. But even as an entree this serves up hefty portions. It would be perfect as a side for 3-4 people as well.

Fresh Corn Risotto
Serves Two (as an entree)

Cooker: 1 ½ quart
Setting and Cook Time: High for 2 to 2 ½ hours; corn added after 1 ½ hours.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken or light vegetable broth
2 ears yellow or white corn, shucked and kernels cut off
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or aged Asiago cheese, plus more for serving.
1 plum tomato (optional), seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the shallot and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until the rice turns chalky and is coasted with the butter. Scrape into the slow cooker with a heatproof rubber spatula. Add the broth.

2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 ½ hours. Stir in the corn and re-cover quickly. Cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.

3. The risotto should be only a bit liquidy, and the rice should be al dente, tender with just a touch of tooth resistance. Add the butter and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and wait a minute for the butter soften. Stir in the cheese, the tomato, if using, and the basil. Serve immediately, passing additional cheese for sprinkling.


  1. For the most part, I've always done risotto as a side. I didn't know you could make it with a slow cooker, though! I'm surprised the arborio was so expensive—did you try Publix? I'm positive I've gotten it cheaper than $8. Looks yummy!

  2. Looks yummy, I might give this a try tonight.