The past two nights were some of my favorite new summer meals including 2 dishes I had yet to make on my own.
Even better, they featured local and fresh foods and were budget-friendly, something I’m always looking for.
Sunday night, I made a Sweet Corn Risotto and paired it with some local sprouted wheat bread and tomato salad.
Sweet Corn Risotto
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-2.5 cups fresh corn kernals (I used the kernals from 3 ears of corn)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups broth
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- salt, pepper
- Bring broth to a simmer in small pan on stove. Keep warm.
- In large pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and add onion, corn and garlic, cooking until onions are softened.
- Stir in uncooked rice and let cook 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in 1/2 cup white wine and let simmer until most of the wine is absorbed.
- Add in 1/2 – 1 cup of warm broth at a time, stirring and letting the liquid absorb into the rice before adding the next batch of broth. This will take about 10 minutes each time.
- Once the broth has been added and the rice is tender, stir in the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn the heat off, put a lid on the pot, and let the risotto sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir in parsley right before serving.
As for the tomato salad, I wanted something simple along side the risotto and I had a surplus of local tomatoes to use.
The reds are brandywine reds from our garden, and I found some delicious yellow teardrop and chocolate cherry tomatoes at the market this weekend. Who knew there were chocolate cherry tomatoes? I didn’t. But after the nice man at the farmer’s market let me taste one, I knew I needed to have them. I diced the tomatoes and tossed them with a pinch of salt and fresh basil.
The entire meal tasted like summer – sugary sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley.
I didn’t think anything could have been better, but then I turned the leftover risotto into these.
Last night, I tried my hand at arancini (traditionally, deep fried Italian rice balls often made with leftover risotto).
Naturally, I made a few changes from the recipes I found online including choosing to bake them instead of fry.
I love fried foods, I do. But after a week in Honduras, my stomach is finally getting back to normal and I didn’t want anything messing up that equilibrium just yet.
The great thing? They turned out delicious! And I bet this recipe would work with any cooked grain.
Baked Sweet Corn Arancini
- 2 cups leftover risotto or cooked grains
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 string cheese, cut into 14-15 pieces (next time I would use fresh mozzarella, but this was all I had)
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp quick oats
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Bread crumb mixture:
- 2 Arnold Sandwich Thins, 100% Whole Wheat*
- 1/4 cup cornmeal*
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 and spray baking sheet with oil.
- In large bowl, beat 2 eggs.
- Add leftover risotto, 2 Tbsp cornmeal, 2 Tbsp quick oats, salt, and pepper to eggs and mix until combined.
- In blender or food processor, pulse Arnold Sandwich Thins until you have breadcrumbs. Mix with cornmeal, salt and pepper and pour onto plate.
- Take a spoonful of the risotto mixture, press a slice of cheese in the middle and form into a ball with your hands.
- Roll each ball in the breadcrumb mixture and place onto baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until set and golden.
* For the 15 arancini I made, I only ended up using about 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture. You could make less and still have enough to coat them.
Served with a quick tomato sauce, these treats were the perfect way to use the leftover risotto without having the same meal two nights in a row.
I loved the slight crunch on the outside and the creaminess of the risotto and cheese in the center. The tangy and savory tomato sauce was the perfect match with the sweet corn filling.
Along with steamed peas and some more tomato salad, it was another winner of a summer dinner.
And the leftovers of the arancini gave Nick and I lunch today, too. There’s no way we would have had any risotto leftover for lunch if we had just eaten it as-is last night. Funny how that works.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy fresh, sweet corn in the summer?