Corn. What’s not to love? Not only is it great on the cob—it’s also an amazing way to make risotto extra creamy (without any actual cream). Here, it’s used to create a milky, naturally sweet purée that complements rich, tangy mascarpone and salty Parmesan for a dish that’s pretty much irresistible.
6″ small pot with lid
8″ medium pot
8 ounces vegetable stock
¼ ounce chives, divided
2 ears corn
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
½ ounce pea shoots
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1½ ounces grated Parmesan cheese
Do not drain leeks, or the dirt at the bottom will pour over them. Instead, use a slotted spoon or your hands to remove them from the water, then pat dry before adding them to the pan to avoid splattering.
Toasting the rice makes for a deliciously nutty flavor and prevents it from absorbing liquid too quickly.
Place vegetable stock and 1¼ cups water in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, if leeks arrived with dark green tops, trim and discard them. Halve leekslengthwise, then cut crosswise into ¼-inch half-moons. Place in a medium bowl of cold water, separating pieces with your fingers, to let dirt sink to bottom. Rinse chives and thinly slice. Halve lemon.
Shuck corn, discarding husks and silk. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate 1 ear over a medium bowl. Slice off whole kernels from remaining cob and add to bowl. Try laying the cob flat on your cutting board, rather than standing it on its ends, to safely cut 1 side at a time.
Remove leeks from water (see Recipe Tip). Pat dry with paper towel. Rinse bowl from leeks, pat dry with paper towel, and set aside until Step 5. Heat half of butter in a medium pot over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add leeks and sauté, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add rice to pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and translucent, 2-3 minutes more (see Recipe Tip).
Stir wine into pot with toasted rice and cook until liquid is mostly absorbed, 1 minute. Pour in warm vegetable stock and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is almost fully absorbed and rice is mostly tender, about 12 minutes.
While rice cooks, rinse pea shoots and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. In medium bowl from leeks, combine 1 squeeze lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with ⅛ teaspoon saltand pepper as desired and whisk to combine. Add pea shoots and half of chives to bowl with dressing. Wait to toss until ready to serve. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.
Stir grated corn and whole corn kernels into pot with risotto over medium-low heat and cook until bright yellow and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in mascarpone, Parmesan, remaining chives, and remaining butter. Taste and add saltand pepper. Toss pea shoots. Divide risotto between serving bowls. Garnish with pea shoots. Dig in!