April 17, 2008

Two Ways to Use Up Leftover Risotto: Riso al Salto and Arancini di Riso

Quick notes:

If your leftover risotto is very cold from being refrigerated, let it sit out a few minutes to allow it to come closer to room temperature. This will help ensure that the final product will be heated all the way through and it will be little easier to handle.

It is best to use risotto that is free of large chunks. If your risotto has large chunks of meat or vegetables, remove the largest chunks before making either of the following. I used leftover and relatively smooth fennel risotto and can't wait to try it with roasted beet risotto but I bet any risotto would be tasty.

Arancini di Riso
1 1/2 to 2 cups leftover risotto
1 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1 egg, beaten
4 oz mozzarella, in 3/4 inch cubes
canola oil

Heat 1/2 inch oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile, mix the matzo meal/bread crumbs with the oregano in a shallow bowl. Pour the beaten egg in a second shallow bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of rice into the palm of your hand. Make a flat round and place a cube of cheese in the middle. Fold the rice over the cheese and roll lightly between your hands to form a ball. Then roll in the egg to coat evenly, then roll in the crumbs. Repeat for remaining risotto. Fry in the oil, turning to evenly brown on all sides-I found a heat-safe slotted spoon worked well for this. Serve hot.

Riso al Salto
1 1/2 to 2 cups leftover risotto
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile mix the egg into the risotto. Shape into flat patties. Pan-fry in oil, flipping once to brown on both sides. Serve hot.

My thoughts:
While I love risotto, I don't always want to eat the exact same thing again the next day for lunch. Enter these yummy risotto balls (which would be great with a bit of shrimp or maybe even ham as a filling instead of mozzarella) and risotto fritters. Both are made with minimal fuss but excellent results. The riso al salto is especially quick and easy and both would be great served with a simple salad. You're going to want to make double batches of risotto just to have an excuse to make them.