Chive Risotto Cakes

Circle B Kitchen

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

The original recipe seemed to lack flavor and did not hold together real well, so I made a few changes to the recipe which solved both problems. Firstly, I added ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese which added great flavor and also acted as a binder. To get the most flavor, be sure to use Italian fontina cheese. The Danish, Swedish or domestic varieties just don’t have enough flavor for this recipe. A couple of other tips to make these turn out perfectly… make sure you let the rice drain completely before adding it to the bowl. If the rice is too wet, it will dilute the flavors and make the cakes soggy. In the end, I decided that these needed an acidic sauce of some kind and created a lemon aioli which added a perfect citrus note to our creamy little cakes. One more thing... I think that if you love chives as much as I do, we should add another tablespoon or so.


1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 extra-large eggs (I used large eggs and they came out fine)

½ cup grated (not shredded) parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives (or more, if you like)

1 1/2 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (not Swedish or Danish)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)

Good olive oil or grapeseed oil

Lemon aioli for serving:

My homemade mayonnaise (or 1 cup of your favorite brand)

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Zest of a lemon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

For the Risotto Cakes:

Bring a large (4-quart) pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 tablespoon salt and the Arborio rice. Stir and then reduce the heat to medium. 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 (at least 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, parmesan cheese, chives, fontina, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled, drained 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.

Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard (2 1/4-inch) ice-cream scoop or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick (or smaller if you’d like to serve them as an appetizer.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Roll each pattie in the panko crumbs and set on a wire rack.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 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. Continue cooking in batches, adding oil as necessary, until all the cakes are fried. Arrange on a serving platter and serve warm with the lemon aioli.

For the aioli:

Follow the instructions for my stick blender mayonnaise (or use 1 cup of your favorite store-bought brand).

Place the mayonnaise in a bowl and add the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper and lemon zest. If you are using a store-bought mayonnaise, double the amounts of Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Stir to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve.