Risotto Cakes, with roasted pumpkin and pan-fried swede/rutabaga
This may or may not be a slightly confusing post. Partly as I have a Risotto Cakes post already, hence this one titled 02. However, when this particular risotto was made late last night I had no intention of going with its recipe here. Instead, this post was supposed to be about using leftover risotto and making that into cakes the following day. And so this is. It’s just, with this vegetarian version of my Chicken, Butternut Squash and Swede Risotto I didn’t expect it to turn out so good. It’s absolutely delicious. And this is made with shop-bought organic vegetable stock, rather than home-made chicken stock. Admittedly, I’ve been using the same brand for years, and it’s definitely tried and tested. Never fails. So! I’m going with this post as vegetarian. And will update this with relevant links to newer vegetarian (as and when I make them) risotto recipes as I can’t quite get enough of risotto right now. To the extent I’ve just cooked this one again. Albeit without the caramelised onions – how could I forget those?!
And the next time I’ll try and not forget. It was still good, just not as good. This time around I ended up smothering the risotto with freshly grated Grana Padano cheese – normally for me grated cheese is only used if the pasta or risotto dish isn’t quite up to the mark! Only my opinion…
For the other vegetarian recipes:
Chickpea and Mushroom Orzotto (Pearl Barley Risotto)
Risotto with borlotti beans & mushrooms.
Risotto Cakes 02, with roasted pumpkin and pan-fried swede/rutabaga
- olive oil
- 250g (8.818 oz) x onions, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced from near the root end toward where the stem would be, then turn and slice off the root end and discard
- 200g (7.055 oz) x roasted pumpkin (weight after the pumpkin has been roasted), cubed
- up to ½ x teaspoon dried sage
- 150g (5.291 oz) x pan-fried swede/rutabaga (weight after cooking it), cubed
- 400ml (13.53 fl oz) x cold water
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 100g (3.527 oz) x arborio rice, well rinsed in cold water
- 2 x garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ x teaspoon red pepper flakes
- up to 100ml (3.381 fl oz) x single/light cream, more to personal taste
- seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
FOR THE RISOTTO CAKES, the following day (using half the risotto within recipe above):
- up to 150g (5.291 oz) x sliced bread (home-made from my Polenta ‘Quick’ Bread) + extra if needed to make the dried breadcrumbs- see Notes below
- 1 x organic egg, separated – yolk can be used within the risotto filling AND
- 1 x egg white, lightly beaten
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
NOTES: For coating 4 fairly large risotto cakes I need a minimum of 60g (2.116 oz) x dried breadcrumbs (90g (3.175 oz) x sliced polenta bread will give me exactly 60g (2.116 oz) dried). These figures are minimum only as it’s much better to have extra to hand. About 15g (0.529 oz) dried breadcrumbs per cake would be needed.
- Preheat oven to 200°C or 392°F.
- Brush the pumpkin with olive oil (after splitting it in half and removing the seeds) and place cut side up on a suitable baking tray. If you want to season then do so to personal taste. Place into the preheated oven and roast for about 40 minutes. When golden on top check with a fork or skewer to make sure the flesh is fully cooked. Remove and set aside. When cool enough to do so remove the flesh with a spoon and add to a bowl.
- Put a small heavy-based saucepan or pan on heat No 3 with a little oil. Place the sliced swede/rutabaga into the pan and add a lid. Allow about 5 or more minutes for each side, checking to make sure there’s no scorching. Remove lid, sprinkle over the dried sage, reduce heat and continue to cook until the slices are easily pierced with a fork. Take off heat and set aside. When cool enough to handle remove the slices of swede and cut into smallish cubes. Leave most of the sage in the pan as I don’t want it in my risotto, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest sprinkling the sage directly into the rice mixture!
- In the meantime add the onions to a heavy-based pan or saucepan with a lid. Add enough oil to coat its base. Put on heat No 3, with the lid, for about 10 minutes or so, stirring through occasionally. Remove lid after 15 minutes, stir through and continue to cook until onions are nicely golden.
- Prep the stock by adding the stock cube to the cold water and put on heat No 3 until dissolved (I use the same saucepan as the risotto, and pour the stock into a measuring jug).
- For the actual risotto add a good glug of olive oil to a large heavy-based pan and put on low heat to start with. Add the rice and stir occasionally for about 4 or 5 minutes. Have the stock to hand and start to add ladlefuls to the rice, upping the heat to No 4. Allow enough time for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. Crush the garlic straight into the pan and stir through. Sprinkle over the red pepper flakes.
- Keep adding a little stock to the rice as before, and after about 10 minutes start checking individual grains of rice for how well it’s cooking. Around this time I’ll start to add some cream along with stock and stir through more often. And reduce the heat to prevent the possibility of any scorching.
- When rice is cooked to personal taste add the onions, cubed pumpkin and swede and stir through. Add a little more stock and cream if the risotto is too thick at this stage. I tend to plonk on a lid, keep it on lowest heat and get everything else ready for lunch or sups.
FOR THE RISOTTO CAKES:
- Make sure the risotto mixture is well chilled. If making the risotto for cakes same day then add the mixture to a suitable container and leave in the fridge until absolutely cold. It’s far easier to form the risotto balls/cakes if the mixture is cold. When ready to use simply mash the cubed pumpkin and swede with a fork and stir this through to combine, which makes it easier to roll the balls.
- Beat the egg white lightly in a small bowl and set aside. Have a plate ready to place the balls on as they’re shaped. And have a baking tray nearby ready to place the crumbed balls on to it.
- Have the breadcrumbs ready and in a large bowl or saucepan. For advice on how to make your own then click on my post, Breadcrumbs.
- Preheat oven to 200°C or 392°F.
- With wet hands grab a dessertspoonful of the risotto mixture, place in one hand and with the other clasp this tightly to rid any trapped air. Then, gently shape into a ball. Leave on the plate and continue to shape the other balls.
- Place each ball into the egg white, and make sure it’s completely covered by gently lifting it and flipping it over with a fork. Lift it out and place into the breadcrumbs. All I do is grab the saucepan and swirl. The pan that is. This coats the balls quite nicely and helps to keep their shape. With a fork the ball is then flipped over and the process repeated to get the ball completely covered. Carefully lift the coated ball out of the breadcrumbs and place on the baking tray. Repeat with the others. I tend to repeat this process again before placing them in the oven. Second time is much easier, and it’s just to make sure the ball is as spherical as possible.
- Place in the centre of the oven and bake for at least 20 minutes, or until nicely golden. Do check one of them to make sure that it’s hot right through to its centre.
- Very delicious served with salad.
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