The Best Corn and Tomato Summer Risotto! With No Waste Vegetable Broth

Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomatoes and corn, summer staples. They are the star of this best ever summer risotto. I see no cook recipes everywhere, and I totally get it, but the DC summer heat wasn’t about to stop me from making this fresh and flavorful risotto. Two secrets to making this the best:

  1. Fresh local corn and tomatoes
  2. Homemade vegetable stock

Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, and when cooked the lycopene content actually increases and becomes more available to our bodies. Many people think the nutrient value of foods decreases when cooked, for certain foods this is true but not tomatoes. Lycopene is famous for studies that show diets high in tomatoes, and other red and pink fruits (think watermelon, papaya, grapefruit) show decreased rates of cervical, colon, esophageal, rectal, prostate, and stomach cancers.

So stock up this summer, hopefully get some slightly blemished tomatoes on sale at the farmers market and cook ’em up! They don’t need to be perfect looking, after all your cooking them anyway. The secret to making this amazing

Tomatos_Tomato and corn risotto in a bowl_
Tomato and corn risotto dinner2The Recipe from NYT:


  • 2 good-size ears sweet corn
  • 7 cups well-seasoned vegetable stock or chicken stock (my recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 pound tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and diced
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil, or a mix of basil, chives, and parsley
  • ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)


  1. Remove corn kernels from cobs and set aside the kernels. Simmer the cobs in stock for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from stock and discard. Make sure your stock is well seasoned. Bring back to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring, until grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, a minute or two. Stir in tomatoes, sugar and salt to taste and cook, stirring, until tomatoes have cooked down slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add wine and stir until it has evaporated and has been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. Stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir continually, but stir often and vigorously. After 10 minutes, add corn and continue for another 10 to 15 minutes. When rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.
  4. Add another ladleful of stock to rice. Stir in basil (or basil, parsley and chives) and Parmesan and remove from heat. The mix should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t).

Waste not vegetable broth

Homemade No Waste Roasted Vegetable Stock: 

  • 2 carrots, diced large
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 corn cobs with husks
  • Carrot Tops
  • 6 springs of parsley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 10 cups water
  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Arrange carrots, leek, onion and garlic in one layer on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and roast in the oven for 45min-1 hour, until browned and softened.

3. Add roasted vegetables and remaining ingredients to a large stock pot and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, uncovered on low heat for 1 hour. Taste and add salt as needed, start with one teaspoon and add small pinches waiting a few minutes after addition. Boil until you have the desired richness and flavor 30min-1 hour.

4. Strain the broth. Eat the leftover vegetables or puree into a veggie soup!

5. If you want an extra rustic broth, char the corn husks and/or cobs over an open flame. You can do this over a grill or if you have a gas stove, just barely put them over the flame until slightly charred, be careful obvi if you doing this in the house not to catch the husk on fire too much 😉

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