I made my favourite tomato and pancetta risotto last week and so then had left over risotto rice which I wanted to use up. When searching through my favourite Fay Ripley cookbooks, I couldn't believe I had not made these crispy pesto risotto cakes for my blog before - I remember making them a few years ago and absolutely loving them. They are quite time consuming (I made them the day before) but totally worth it! They take about 40 minutes "active" work but need "chilling" time too (an hour and then preferably overnight).
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil
250g risotto rice
800ml warm chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh pesto
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 knobs of butter
(I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients - I had a really late night the night before and am not with it)!
Start by making the risotto. Fry the chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent.
Pour in the rice and stir for 2 minutes to coat.
Stir in the warm stock, a ladle at a time, letting the stock be absorbed before adding the next ladle and stirring regularly. This should take about 20 minutes. When all the stock is absorbed the rice should be cooked but still have a little bite.
Stir in the pesto, next spread out onto a large plate or tray until cool and then cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or so. I could have eaten the risotto now!
Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together. Divide the risotto into 8 patties and then drop them in the crumbs, coating them thoroughly. Leave them in the fridge if you have time - I left them in the fridge overnight as I feel they hold together better. It is quite a messy process!
When you are ready to eat, in a non stick frying pan, melt a knob of butter with another tablespoon of oil. Place half the patties in the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side so they are heated all the way through and crispy.
Repeat with the second batch. Rest on kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven if necessary. I served them with roasted peppers and a slice of goats cheese.
I LOVE these - they are a fantastic way to eat risotto rice and I adore that they have a really crisp bite to them. Mine were a little salty but I think that must have been from the stock I used. I think they went brilliantly with the roasted peppers and goats cheese however I have also served them before with pan fried fish and quick roll up chicken. Great for adults and kids alike and definitely worth the effort.