Corn and Basil Risotto

BY NICK MACMAHON | 13 SEPTEMBER 2019

This is the best way to utilise corn stock. With the addition of fresh corn, this risotto has a supercharged corn flavour. If you don't like corn, stop reading.

 

This follows a standard risotto recipe and is finished with the key ingredients; fresh corn and basil. You can chop your basil and add it to the top of the risotto if you like, but for this dish, I like to leave the basil whole and wilt it into the risotto. This softens the big basil flavour from the leaves and melds it into the risotto.

 

Swapping out butter for olive oil makes this a totally vegan recipe. But if you don’t want to go totally vegan, use butter and add cheese at the end. I like to use a strong flavoured hard cheese that semi-melts into the risotto, like a Gruyere or cheddar.

 

Risotto is best served straight away and cooking takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. So be sure to consider the time if you are making other dishes.

 

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

2 cobs of corn 

1L corn stock —or substitute with chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup of arborio rice — roughly 250g

Half of a medium onion, diced

40g of basil leaves stems removed

40g butter —swap with olive oil for vegan

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper

Optional —1 cup of shredded or roughly chopped cheese such as gruyere or cheddar

 

Method

Heat stock in a small pot, bring to boil and turn down to the lowest heat so it stays hot. Heat a high-sided pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and once the butter has melted, add the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. 

Add rice to the onion and let cook dry for a couple of minutes. Now add a couple of ladles of the stock to the pan. Give the risotto a good stir every 3 or 4 minutes, no need to stir constantly. When the rice has absorbed all the stock, add another ladle of stock. Feel free to add more at any point if it’s looking a little dry.

 

You can test doneness by biting into a grain, if it's still chalky, give it more time. It’s ready when it’s no longer chalky but still has a bite to it. After about 15 minutes the risotto should be close to done. At this point, you can add the corn and basil. Mix in well and let cook for another five minutes until rice is done and then remove from heat. 

 

Once off the heat, add the lemon juice and if you want, the cheese. Test for seasoning and add salt to taste. Serve straight away and top with black pepper.