Daily Archives: September 29, 2011

Gruyere Risotto Cakes

The only way risotto leftovers can be made better? Form them into patties, roll in panko bread crumbs and fry lightly in extra-virgin olive oil.

Afraid of making risotto? Try making risotto cakes! Seriously – this is like an easy introduction to the beauty of thick, creamy risotto jazzed up with any flavors you desire. And the flaky panko breadcrumbs provide such a perfect crunch.

I must say that Grant declared these to be in his “top 3” meals I’ve made. Now if only I could remember the first two…

This recipe from Ina Garten is easy to tweak. For instance, I didn’t have Greek yogurt, so I used some low-fat sour cream that I already had. I didn’t have chives, so I used green onions. Gruyere was miraculously on sale, so I used that instead of fontina. In my opinion, Gruyere is a far superior cheese (and my favorite cooking cheese) to fontina, so it was an obvious switch.

Next time, I may try to freeze the cakes before frying – some of them still tried to fall apart on me. Don’t worry – it won’t affect the taste!

Lightly browned in the pan and then crisped up in the oven while I made the salad, these would be a wonderful appetizer if made smaller. But they are just as delicious and decadent as your entree, served on a bed of peppery arugula in a light lemon vinaigrette (with Parmesan shavings over the top, of course).

Gruyere Risotto Cakes


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced green onions
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • Baby arugula
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, green onions, cheeses, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight, until firm.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Place patties in the panko, turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes on each side until the risotto cakes are crisp and nicely browned. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes – increase the heat to 350 if the cakes fell apart in the frying process and need to be crisped.

Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried.

Meanwhile, prepare your salad.

Whisk juice of 1 lemon with 1/3-1/2 c. EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over arugula and finish with Parmesan shavings.

To serve, place hot cakes on top of arugula salad and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. When you bite in, the rice will be creamy and flavored with all the nutty Gruyere and light onions. The arugula will wilt under the heat and the Parmesan will soften. Just fabulous!

To reheat, place cakes on baking sheet and heat in 350-degree oven until they start to sizzle.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo