Served at Sam Arnold's Fort Restaurant in Colorado

"New World" in the title refers to the ingredients below that were indigenous to the Americas. Margaret Visser, in her book Much Depends on Dinner, notes how over and over again early explorers were amazed a the ingenuity and efficiency of Native American farmers. The Iroquois and other Eastern tribes would prepare the soil in mounds and plant corn. A few days later, in the same place, they would plant beans and squash. When the seedlings emerged from the mound of soil, the corn grew straight and strong, the beans climbed the corn, and the squash trailed down the side of the mound and covered the flat land between the mounds, keeping it shaded and moist. This recipe honors the kinship of these three ingredients and includes others from the New World larder.

Serves 6

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup finely diced onions

  • One-fourth cup slivered garlic

  • One and one-half cups Arborio rice

  • 2 teaspoons toasted cumin seed (page 36)

  • One-fourth teaspoon red chile flakes

  • One-half cup dry white wine

  • 5-6 cups hot corn stock (page 56) or vegetable stock

  • 2 cups fresh raw corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 3 large ears)

  • One-half cup husked and diced tomatillos

  • One-fourth cup each diced red and yellow peppers

  • One-half cup green beans sliced into tiny rounds

  • One-half cup diced yellow summer squash

  • One-half cup freshly grated dry Jack or Parmesan cheese

  • One-fourth cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a deep saucepan over moderate heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft but not brown. Add the rice and saute, stirring, until the rice is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin seed and chile flakes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed. Add the hot stock in one-half cup increments, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost absorbed. When the risotto is almost complete, add the corn, tomatillos, peppers, beans, and squash. Continue stirring and add the last of the stock, cooking until the vegetables are tender and the risotto is creamy but not overcooked. Stir in the cheese and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into warm bowls. I like to surround the risotto with a small ladleful of any leftover corn stock. From From the Earth to the Table, copyright 1995 by John Ash and Sid Goldstein, published by Dutton, a division of Penguin Books USA, Inc.

Recommended wine: A barrel-aged Chardonnay with good fruit is a great match for this dish, especially if you use the corn broth.