One of my favorite things about making a batch of risotto is anticipating the crispy risotto cakes I'll make with the leftovers. They are, if possible, even better than the risotto itself. Especially if one happens to sneak a slice of cheese in the middle.
As it cools, risotto gradually loses its creamy sauce-like consistency and firms up. We can take scoops of this leftover risotto and actually shape it into patties that hold their shape when pan-fried. The outside of the risotto cakes turn crispy and golden while the insides warm and soften.
As an extra treat, slip a piece of cheese into the middle of the cake as you shape it, as with arancine. That bit of melted cheese with the chewy rice and the crunchy pan-fried bits makes an unbeatable combination. You can also dip the risotto cakes in egg and panko to make an extra-crispy crust.
Serve these risotto cakes over a plate of dressed salad greens for an easy weeknight meal. I also like cold risotto cakes, making them a good choice for lunches at my desk and long airplane rides.
Here are a few recipes to inspire your cooking:
• Risotto Cakes with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula from Martha Stewart • Mushroom Risotto Cakes from Epicurious • Fontina Risotto Cakes with Chives from Bon Appétit
Have you ever done this?
(Image: Martha Stewart)