Roasted Red Pepper Risotto Cakes

in Appetizers, Dinner

I’m realizing that a lot of my daily life is a simple series of action and reaction. For instance,  I recently read, well, more like devoured, the book “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and after reading something that good there are two logical actions that must be taken: 1) watch the movie on Netflix, 2) order the follow-up book immediately on Amazon.

Another instance is when Lindsay Lohan went to jail, and I the immediate action of people unhealthily obsessed with celebrities everyone was to look up her mug shot.  I would like to tell you that I don’t often follow celebrity gossip news, but my grandmother would disapprove of me to lying to this many people at once.

And now, whenever I make risotto, the immediate reaction the next day will be to make risotto cakes. Although some brilliant bloggers claim that everyone has already heard of the trick of turning leftover risotto into little cakes, I am only just now catching on to this trend. I’m a little behind the times, remember?

I’ve always been hesitant to cook risotto specifically for the reason that leftovers are a waste. Micro-waved day-old risotto is certainly something I’ve ever craved. These little cakes, however, are exactly what I needed in my recipe arsenal. They add in a whole new texture with the crispy fried bread crumbs on the outside, and seal in the melty goodness within that is almost, if not just, as good as the original dish.

Roasted Red Pepper Risotto Cakes

These cakes can be made with any leftover risotto, but I just loved the flavor and color that the red peppers added.

Print this recipe!

1 medium onion, minced or finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole roasted red peppers
½ cup white wine
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup dried bread crumbs

For the risotto:
Combine the water and vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add in the garlic and peppers and sauté another two minutes. Add in the rice and stir for another two minutes, just until the rice begins to brown.

Pour in the white wine and stir until all of the liquid has evaporated. One ladle at a time, at the simmering broth to the rice and stir gently to develop the starches. Wait until all of the liquid has evaporated before adding the next ladle of broth. Once most of the broth has been added in, taste the rice occasionally until it becomes tender. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

For the cakes:
Eat however much of the risotto you want now, and then refrigerate the rest, at least for an hour.

Form the chilled risotto into small balls, and cover both sides with the bread crumbs. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and heat on high. Cook the cakes in the oil, 2-3 minutes on each side or until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve over mixed greens, or as a side item.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather @ Side of Sneakers July 26, 2010 at 5:11 am

Oh these both look & sound amazing!!!


xiuxiu July 26, 2010 at 5:23 am

I hardly have leftover risotto. But this is worth it to make double batch, and fry them the next day.
I read all 3 books and loved loved them. The 3rd book is nail biting.


DessertForTwo July 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

These look delicious! The Barefoot Contessa has a recipe for risotto cakes that doesn’t require the risotto to be left-over…kinda cool if you can’t wait for the fried version!

I made the cucumber juice on your site this weekend and it was SO yummy! It made my weekend! Thanks :)


Maria July 26, 2010 at 9:55 am

I have to make these! Great addition to a salad!


Joanne July 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

Is it wrong to make risotto just to have leftovers to make these? Does that defeat the purpose? I hope not because I am SO doing that.


M. July 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

supper yummy looking,
I’ve never had risotto cakes, they sound so delicious, I will have to try making them one day. :)


Caroline July 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

DFT – so glad you made the cucumber juice! Barefoot Contessa somewhat inspired these risotto cakes, I love her!!

Joanne – it is absolutely not wrong to make risotto just for these, it may become a common occurrence at my apartment :)


Tobi Nicholson July 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I have been trying so hard to get into that same book – is it just slow in the beginning?? I just seem to get past the first few chapters?? Maybe I should just suck it up and keep reading??
BTW, those cakes look awesome but I have to admit, I’ve never even made risotto?? Should I be embarrassed??? I guess I should start with that before moving on to the cakes!!


Lauren July 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

The film Is ok, about as dark as you would expect but if I were you I would be rushing to get the next book – they only get better. I’m just sad i’ve finished them all now!

The rice cakes look wonderful, I make risottos quite often, but I don’t usually have leftovers. Seems I might be missing out. Maybe I should double up next time :)


Elizabeth July 26, 2010 at 2:40 pm

These look delicious. I rarely have leftover risotto, but I will definitely be making these if I ever do!


Joan July 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Where’s the icing? Where’s the sprinkles? And whose Risotto? The landlord? It doesn’t look much like cake to me. Like more like little mush cupcakes. I never even got a cake on a birthday, just give me a card with 25 pennies taped all over the inside. At least there’s salad.


indie.tea July 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

O YUM! I love the fact that the recipe is vegetarian. It looks delicious. Can’t wait to try…


Heather at Multiply Delicious July 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm

These look delicious! I can’t wait to try them!


Tyla August 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

These look awesome! The problem is, when I make risotto, I rarely have enough leftover to make something like risotto cakes…must work on my self-restraint…


cathy schlotte November 26, 2010 at 10:27 am

I just finished “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, and found it really hard to get into, but after the first 5 or 6 chapters, couldn’t put it down. Just watched the movie,too – I agree, very dark and missing a lot from the book. I’m all geared up to make those risotto cakes – they look delicious!


Riley August 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm

The recipe looks great, but I can’t seem to overcome my urge to point out that leftover risotto is perfectly yummy, even from the freezer. Maybe I’m doing something wrong that somehow makes it right. Who knows? But I think the risotto cakes look darling and yummy and all that, so thanks for sharing it, even though I feel like standing on my soapbox and preaching the virtues of leftover risotto :)


Riley August 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

PS I live in Sweden, Land of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo….


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