Late-Summer Risotto

The past few evenings over here have been perfect for sitting out on the porch, the air is not quite chilly and the stars are out. I’ve begun to savor the warm wind, knowing that it’s not going to last much longer. Soon we’ll have that biting crisp air all around us.  Soon we’ll have to huddle under blankets and warm sweaters.  We’ll have to sip hot cider and eat warm, beefy meals.

On warm, late-Summer nights I think about these things that will be coming our way—I think about them with a touch of sadness but also with lots of excitement.  Fall is fun, it brings apples, squash, and Halloween.  It brings Thanksgiving and hot chocolate and pumpkin pie.  If it wasn’t for the loss of plump strawberries, juicy tomatoes, and verdant zucchini, I’d be all for Fall.

So, while I’m not going to mourn over the loss of Summer this Fall, I will savor every last moment of it.  Every meal I eat for the next few weeks will be packed with vegetables.  Zucchini.  Peppers.  Tomatoes.  Corn.  I’m hoping really, that just maybe I’ll eat so much that I’ll be sick of it all and welcome Fall with open arms.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.

August Risotto

serves 4-6

Pureed corn added to vegetable broth enhances the creaminess in this risotto – you won’t even miss the cheese!

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 small or medium green peppers, diced
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cobs, divided
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • about 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 pinch saffron, optional
  • dash of heavy cream, optional

Melt butter (or oil) in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add onions and peppers and cook until translucent and almost browning, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water and bouillon cubes to simmer in a medium saucepan.  Once hot, take about 1 cup of the broth and put it in a blender.  Add two ears worth of corn kernels into the blender and puree until smooth.  Add this mixture back to the simmering broth.

In the dutch oven, add rice and vermouth, stirring rice so that it gets coated in the liquid.  Let all the vermouth evaporate and then add in a ladle of the corn-broth, letting it soak into the rice.  Add the zucchini. Once the liquid gets soaked up by the rice add more liquid, stirring, and repeat this process until the rice is creamy and tender.  Before adding your last ladleful, add the tomatoes, remaining corn kernels, herbs, saffron, and heavy cream (if using.)  Stir a bit more and then serve.  After dinner, make sure that you go outside and take in the warm late-Summer air.

17 thoughts on “Late-Summer Risotto”

  1. This sounds great. Printing it off to try for next week (I’d make it this weekend, but my meat-addicted in-laws will be here… I may make it anyways, hehe). This summer has been a bit brutal weather-wise (VT), and my garden has taken quite a hit as a result, but this past week or so it’s been absolutely beautiful and I’ve been making the the most of what tomatoes, zucchini I’ve managed to get. Nothing like this time of year into early October for any number of reasons. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I will miss the days of corn and tomatoes. How am I to live without these wonderful little things?! I don’t even want to think about it… Hopefully this summer produce will last well in to September, even though I can’t wait till fall comes.

  3. Rich- I had no idea VT was having a offish summer! Boo! I hope your veggies keep coming in!

    Kristin- It really is the perfect trick! So creamy.

    Amanda- I’m hoping everything survives September too, I will miss Summer!

  4. I think I just want to grab that bowl and pour it in my mouth.

    I love Fall but this is the first Summer where I have really discovered the seasonal goodness, so I have to say I am bidding it a rather sad farewell.

  5. Oh, Robin, what a beautiful post. I love that picture of tiny tomatoes with a curly pig’s tail of a stem showing!

    I’ve been planning to get some sort of fancy soup pot or Dutch oven for two months now. Maybe this recipe is the final nudge I need to take myself and my credit card to a Sur la Table! Most risotto recipes are swimming in olive oil or butter, but your recipe is light and succulent with vegetables. Gorgeous!

  6. I use that corn method in making rice pilaf. It works beautifully.

    I love the idea of this risotto. We eat risotto often here as it’s an easy way to get my 14yo carnivore to eat vegetables. This one looks so delicious!

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