Corn Risotto with Basil Oil
Celebrate Fall with the delicious combination of fresh corn, parmesan cheese and basil. You can substitute frozen corn in this recipe, but fresh corn is worth the extra effort of cutting it off the cob. You will have left over basil oil but it can be used on a salad, roasted vegetables, or drizzled over tomatoes, cheese or pizza.
1 cup grape seed oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallots, minced
2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, defrosted
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons hand-torn basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the Basil Oil – heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the basil leaves and remove from the heat. Let the oil and basil leaves cool completely. Pour into a Vitamix or Blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Do not push on the solids to force the oil through the strainer. Throw any solids away and set the basil oil aside. (You can store any leftover basil oil in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.)
To make the Risotto – in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a light simmer over moderately heat. Cover and keep warm.
In a 12″ sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, then add the corn, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the corn edges turn lightly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cover and keep warm.
In a 4 quart sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat and then add the shallots and cook over medium heat until softened about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are thoroughly coated with fat about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until the wine has almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of the stock to the rice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed. Continue to add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring the risotto until the stock is absorbed before adding another cup. When there is 1 cup of stock remaining, check the risotto. If the risotto is finished it should be just tender, give easy to the bite, and the sauce should be creamy. If it is not ready, at this point add the stock 1/2 cup at a time until the risotto is finished. (You may not need all the stock.) The risotto should take 20-24 minutes total. When the risotto is finished stir in the 2/3 of the corn, Parmesan cheese, and the remaining 2 tablespoon of butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, scoop into serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with some of the remaining corn, a drizzle (1-1/2 teaspoons) of Basil Oil, the basil leaves and serve immediately.