This has been a good year for corn around here.  I can’t remember a year when it’s been this consistently good, so I’m looking for creative ways to showcase it in our meals.  This is a simple but unexpected way to use some of that golden harvest.  Lightly charring the corn gives the dish a little edge.  The saffron gives it a bright yellow color upfront, and an exotic perfume that lingers in the background.   Marscapone cheese makes it luscious, and fresh thyme, added at the very last minute, reminds us that it’s mid summer, and to luxuriate a little bit in that moment.


This risotto can be vegetarian or not, but I think the chicken stock gives it good flavor.   You could add grilled shrimp to round it out as a full meal.

Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto

Yield: serves 6


  • 3 ears of corn, kernels removed (reserve one cob)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Regiano cheese
  • 3-4 oz marscapone cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper


  1. Set the oven to 450F
  2. Put the corn kernels on a baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes, and then put the pan under the broiler for about 2 minutes, watching carefully, until they get just slightly charred. Set the corn aside. You want about a heaping cup of roasted kernels for the risotto.
  3. Heat the stock and 2 cups of water to just under a simmer in a small saucepan. Break the reserved corn cob in two, and add it as well. Add the saffron threads, crushing them between your fingers as you add them to the stock. Season the stock with 1/2 tsp of salt.
  4. Heat the final Tbsp of olive oil and the butter in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the onion and the shallot and saute until they are softened and translucent.
  5. Add the rice and stir to coat, for another minute.
  6. Add the wine to the pot and stir while it is absorbed, another minute and a half or so.
  7. Start adding the stock to the rice, a ladle at a time, stirring almost constantly, and letting each addition of stock get fully absorbed before the next addition. The pot should be kept at a gentle simmer at all times.
  8. After 2 or 3 ladles of stock have been absorbed, add in 1/2 cup of the corn. Keep stirring and adding stock, making sure your pot is simmering and the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan, especially toward the end of the cooking. The whole process is going to take about 30 minutes.
  9. After about 25 minutes, taste the rice to see if it is tender. You may not use the whole amount of stock. When the rice is tender, add in the rest of the corn, the cheeses, and the fresh thyme. Season with lots of fresh cracked black pepper. Mix everything in well, and then taste again to check the seasonings. Add a little more stock if the risotto seems dry.
  10. Serve immediately with more Parmesan cheese on the side.



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22 Responses to Roasted Corn and Saffron Risotto

  1. Laura says:

    Corn in risotto has never occurred to me before, but I am sitting here now thinking it is the most brilliant thing ever! Pinning!

  2. Cathy says:

    Just made this for the second time this summer- great recipe! I made it vegan by substituting olive oil for butter, and vegetable broth instead of the chicken. I let the non-vegans sprinkle their own parmesan on top. So creamy and full of flavor- thanks!

  3. […] View Recipe Ingredients & Preparation Instructions […]

  4. shannon says:

    mmmm, summer corn! there are so many reasons to NOT like this part of the summer, but the produce really saves the day on July and August, in my opinion. What a lovely way to use it!

  5. grace says:

    i don’t think i know what saffron tastes like, but i know everything about corn and i love it. this is an elegant dish, sue!

  6. Eileen says:

    A definite yes to corn! I have five ears in my fridge right now, just waiting for me to eat them. This risotto sounds great–so full of summer flavor.

  7. Rosa says:

    That looks delicious! A mouthwatering combination.



  8. Cathy says:

    I just made this and it was delicious. Mine wasn’t quite as photogenic as yours, though :)

  9. This looks just so yummy must make this one.

  10. Liz says:

    Wow!!! I haven’t made risotto in ages…mainly b/c all the ones I see that I like have mushrooms and the hubby won’t eat “fungus.” I have a feeling he’d love your beautiful dish!!! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Sue says:

      I know the feeling, my husband doesn’t like so many of my favorite foods…the things we put up with :) I also have a really good roasted tomato risotto which you both might like, too, it’s another good one for making the most of summer produce.

  11. I had a sweet corn in risotto in Maine last week that was so amazing I went back a few days later and had it again. I swore to replicate the recipe and you just reminded me that I must do so ASAP!

  12. HI Sue! I read your comment on our mutual friend Tricia from Saving Room for Dessert and I wanted to see your recipe you posted. Well, I have to tell you – your recipe for Corn and Saffron risotto looks AMAZING!
    We never-ever made risotto with corn and you now have inspired us make to try and even make yours! I love the look and design of your website! It’s so beautiful! We hope to do ours soon. Have a great weekend! :)

  13. bellini says:

    Yes I would have to say you have me hooked.

  14. I love saffron risotto, this looks so good!

  15. This looks so comforting, creamy, rich, with layers and layers of great flavor from wine to saffron. I need to get in on the corn!

  16. hungry dog says:

    THis is the epitome of summer–and luxury! I love the idea of adding shrimp–or lobster? to make it over the top.

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