Chive Risotto Cakes

January 19, 2009 · 29 comments · Print This Post

in Appetizers, Dinner, Pasta / Grains

Chive Risotto Cakes

The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients cookbook by Ina Garten has turned out to be one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year. Thanks CK! Almost immediately after opening it I started tagging recipes that I wanted to make. I soon realized that it would probably have been easier to just mark the foods that I didn’t want to try. In the last two weeks I’ve already made three dishes, thoroughly enjoying each one, but these simple Chive Risotto Cakes are by far my choice for most delicious meal from the book thus far.

Right up front I want to point out to you that the directions require chilling the rice and cheese mixture for several hours, or better yet overnight. I glossed over that instruction initially and found myself completely exasperated on Wednesday evening when I realized that I had to put my cheesy bowl of ingredients to bed in the refrigerator and instead ended up serving frozen pizza for dinner. By the way, you definitely need to complete this step so that your cakes stay firm and don’t break apart while you’re cooking them. When Ina tells you to do something a certain way you should always do it – no questions asked.

The flavor of these cakes hovers somewhere in between a really good grilled cheese sandwich and the best homemade hash browns you’ve ever been served at brunch. Which is great because this means you can make these crispy treats for any meal of the day, and trust me, you’re going to want to. I’m already dreaming up ideas for other risotto cake flavors. Like risotto itself, almost anything goes. Right now a little roasted red pepper and goat cheese seems like a delicious future experiment, or maybe even some sun-dried tomato and Gruyère. Decisions! Decisions!

Risotto Cakes: Dinner is Served

Chive Risotto Cakes
Originally published in Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients by Ina Garten
Serves 6 (Yields approximately 20 small cakes)

Kosher salt
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1½ cups grated Italian Fontina cheese (5 ounces)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ cup panko
Extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a half tablespoon salt and the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains of rice will be quite soft. Drain the rice and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, chives, Fontina, 1¼ teaspoons 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.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard ice cream scoop or large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inches thick.

Place 4 to 6 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 and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes.

Chive Risotto Cake: Big Bite

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RecipeGirl January 19, 2009 at 9:03 am

Just bought that cookbook but I have yet to explore it! Loooks wonderful… so you don’t need anything to dip it in huh? That bite is saying ‘dip me in something!’


2 Erin January 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

RecipeGirl – No need to dip. I wondered about that as well, but honestly they’re super flavorful and moist. The cookbook is fabulous. I’m positive you’re going to like it.


3 Sues January 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

I love the Barefoot Contessa AND everything risotto related! I was wondering about a dip too, but then remembered how deliciously creamy risotto is and realized it’s probably perfect as is. I just put up a recipe using panko too…love it 🙂


4 Elle January 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

I love Ina. She’s my hero. Still have to pick this book up! The risotto cakes look addicting.


5 Donald January 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

I got that book for Christmas as well. I haven’t started working on the recipes as of yet, but I will very soon.

These look great.


6 Whitney January 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

I also got this book for Christmas and spent the weekend reading through and tabbing up half the book. I did laugh at how many times she uses truffle butter though.


7 Diana January 19, 2009 at 10:37 am

I got that cookbook for Christmas, too! I haven’t made anything just yet, though. These risotto cakes look soooo good! Oh, and nice fiesta ware!


8 Kristina January 19, 2009 at 10:41 am

I just picked up her French cooking book, which is also amazing!


9 Susie January 19, 2009 at 11:49 am

I think I’m in love.


10 carrie January 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm

mmm… so you’ll laugh if I tell you the way I read your posts. I look at the pictures, read a LITTLE of your verbage, look at the recipe, then immediately want to comment. so I open the comments, then read the comments, then finally go back and read all that you actually wrote cause I totally skimmed over it.

ok, so maybe you won’t laugh. but I wanted to share.

I also wanted to share that I saw the fontina, and started thinking of a goat cheese blend or gruyere/onion combo… then I see that you mentioned it as well. I LOVE your brain, erin. LOVE it.

also? love the food Ina makes, but I still can’t stand her. something about her makes me want to punch the TV.. which is a shame, cause really? is that necessary for a cooking show? and then of course there’s the fact she does have great recipes. Issues, I tell ya.

thank goodness you post her recipes. it’s like I get the great food inspiration, and cause you’re delivering it… no punching required! (also.. if you ever get a book deal, you can TOTALLY use ‘no punching required’ as your tag line. consider it my gift to you. HAH!)



11 PaniniKathy January 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Yum! You know I love grilled cheese and hash browns are great too. I still need to get this cookbook…love Ina!


12 pigpigscorner January 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm

wow this is interesting. Looks really delicious!


13 Monica H January 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Hi Erin!

Just wanted you to know that I fould your site several months ago and bookmarked a few pages. I have yet to make anything but everything (including these risotto cakes) looks delicious. I plan on making your artichoke dip and the pumpkin dinner rolls- although not together 🙂

Thanks for this recipe. I must go get her book now!



14 Bridgett January 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I just had to comment on Ida’s new cookbook. It is quickly becoming my favorite as well. Be sure to try out the baked sweet potato fries. Yum! I will try the risotto soon on your recommendation 🙂


15 Amy January 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Yum! These look delicious! I must try them before I start Weight Watchers in a couple weeks 😉


16 Jade January 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Mmmmmm is all I could say/think while reading this post. Those look amazing. I am definitely going to have to pick up Ina’s book too.


17 patsyk January 19, 2009 at 9:22 pm

Didn’t think it was possible to improve on risotto… but, I think this might just be my new favorite!


18 Patricia Scarpin January 20, 2009 at 6:24 am

Erin, those are my favorite kind of decisions! 🙂
These look so good!


19 ashley January 20, 2009 at 7:11 am

oh this looks so good! i loove risotto!! i got this cookbook right before i left on my business trip and can’t wait to get home to try some recipes out like this one!


20 kristina January 20, 2009 at 8:30 am

I just received this book as well, so very glad to hear how much you’ve liked it! Now I’m wondering which were the other dishes you made… K x


21 kitchenbelle January 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Yum, yum, and yum!!!!!!


22 Scott at Realepicurean January 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I agree with the guy / gal at the top who said they need a dip – but then I haven’t tasted them. I’ll take your word for it that they’re perfect without, until I try it…It better be good! 🙂


23 wendy January 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

These look delicious!! Love your site by the way.


24 cassie January 21, 2009 at 5:21 am

i love barefoot contessa..and this recipe looks delish!!!! can’t wait to try it..


25 EB January 21, 2009 at 11:19 am

So they’re like flat arincini? Yum!


26 Pete February 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm

how much will this recipe yield? how many people will it feed as a side dish?


27 grace January 1, 2011 at 10:32 am

Made these for the vegetarian BF yesterday and they were a big hit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

(I’m not a vegetarian, so I’m trying new things. The way to a man’s heart, etc.)


28 barbarap February 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm

someone mentioned the French cookbook. I have cooked almost everything in it and have always loved the way Ina cooks and her low key instructions. Making the risotto cakes tonite to go with fresh clams. (it’s Italain night at home). Also received a (signed) Back to Basics book from my son for Christmas, best gift ever. Someday I will be able to say I have made ALL of Ina’s recipes. Need to find a store in Houston to buy the truffle butter. Anyone know of a store???


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