This summer version of risotto garners all its flavor from fresh summer corn.  The key to this recipe is making your own corn stock and reserving it to simmer the risotto which infuses great flavor. I then add sautéed corn kernels and red bell pepper for color and texture.  It pairs beautifully with seared shellfish and results in a delightful summer meal.  I decided to serve this with haricots vents, but any green vegetable such as asparagus, zucchini or Brussel sprouts would work.  It’s a little extra work to start with the fresh corn, but it provides a great flavor boost, especially when corn is in peak season.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

for shellfish:

  • 12-16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 large sea scallops
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • kosher salt and pepper
  •  1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • fresh squeezed lemon for serving

for risotto:

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 ears of fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup of wine
  • 1 small red bell pepper, fine dice
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch chopped chives
  • kosher salt and pepper

Directions:

for risotto:  Carefully remove corn kernels from cobs, reserving kernels in a bowl. Place the cobs in about 4 cups of light salted water and bring to a boil in a saucepan for about 20-30 minutes, simmering until water becomes milky and yellow. Drain and reserve juices.  In a large enamel, or heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and add corn and diced red pepper to pan.  Sauté for several minutes until tender and season with salt and pepper.  Place vegetables in a bowl and in the same pan, add butter back to pan and shallots.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper and add risotto to pan, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.  Once all butter is absorbed, begin adding wine and corn stock in increments, enabling the risotto to absorb the liquid after each addition.  Continue to stir the risotto as you add liquid, slowly cooking the rice as it releases the starch and becomes creamy, absorbing the liquid.  When the risotto is almost cooked,  after about 17 minutes, add a bit of additional liquid (if you run out of corn stock, you can always use water), remove pan from heat and cover with a lid to allow the remaining liquid to absorb and finish cooking your risotto while you prepare your shellfish.

for shellfish:  Prepare your seafood by patting it dry with a paper towel and sprinkling it with a very light coating of flour and then seasoning it  lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed sauté pan with grapeseed oil to medium high.  Place prepared shrimp and scallops in pan and sear for 3-4 minutes a side, until cooked through.  Squeeze fresh lemon on seafood and sprinkle with smoked paprika.

to serve:  When ready to serve, add sautéed corn and red pepper to risotto and toss to combine to incorporate vegetables.  Add a bit more stock if risotto has dried out a bit.  Place your risotto in the center of your serving platter and seared shellfish on top.  Garnish with fresh chives and place vegetables around your platter.  Enjoy immediately!