This has become one of my favorite summer meals. One of the reasons I like it is that one doesn’t use broth here, but a combination of milk and water instead; milk being an item I always have in the fridge. The risotto has a creaminess more often associated with rice pudding–a savory rice pudding, as it were. As for herbs, I would only add herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary as a small part of a larger amount of other, leafy herbs.
2 1/2 c water
2 c milk
2 T butter or oil, or a combination
1 1/2 c finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c Arborio rice, or other risotto rice
1 1/2 c fresh corn kernels
1 c chopped tomato
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
1/2 c fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, etc., or a combination
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a saucepan, combine the water and milk and heat to just below a simmer. Keep warm.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter or heat the oil, and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for a couple of minutes to coat the rice with the mixture. Stir in one cup of the milk “broth” and stir until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
3. Continue adding the “broth” in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to be almost absorbed before adding more. Stir often, though constant stirring is not necessary. The rice should not be sticking to the bottom of the skillet, turn the heat down if that is the case. The rice should be ready in about 20 minutes, or a few minutes less. The rice should be al dente–almost tender, but with a bit of chew in the center. Just before this occurs, add the corn and tomato, or not. You can wait until the rice is al dente, take the skillet off the heat and stir in the corn, tomato, herb, salt, and pepper. It depends on whether or not you want the corn and tomato to be a bit cooked. If you add the corn and tomato before the rice is done, then, when you take the skillet off the heat, stir in the cheese, herb, salt, and pepper.
4. Serve with additional grated cheese, if you like.