Looking for an easy, healthy, quick side dish? We here at Nerds with Knives central casting have just the guy for you. This orzo is so good that we’ve made it two nights in a row. And you know what? I’m probably going to make it again tonight and I’m not ashamed to say it! Well, slightly ashamed but that’s mostly because I’ve stripped our one sage plant bare solely due to my obsession with this dish. It has a very similar texture and flavor to risotto but only takes 15 minutes to make. How cool is that?
What can you do with leftover risotto? Risotto cakes can be put together without a lot of bother, just add stinky cheese and breadcrumbs and fry them up! A perfect lunch with a side salad.
There are a few things I make almost exclusively because I want to do something with the leftovers (I’m looking at you Pork Belly Bánh mì sliders). And while risotto on its own is delicious, I love the gooey, crunchy cakes you can make with the leftovers even more. That’s why when Matt and I decided to make Shrimp and Lobster Risotto with Peas the other evening, I made quite a bit more than I knew we would need, with the devious (brilliant?) intention of making risotto cakes with the rest.
These things are insanely versatile. First of all, you can use pretty much any kind of leftover risotto you have. I can’t think of a version that wouldn’t work with a crunchy exterior, can you? Secondly, with a crisp salad and a glass of wine, they make an excellent lunch or light dinner on their own. Pair them with a roast beast of some sort and they become an incomparable side dish. I’m starting to feel like an informercial (But wait, there’s more!). Want an unbelievably delicious appetizer or party snack? Just make smaller patties. Oh, and I almost forgot. Risotto Cake + roasted tomato + poached egg = best brunch dish ever. That’s the official definition of a “super-food”, right? I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.
If you don’t happen to have leftover risotto in your fridge, don’t panic! Just make this Basic Risotto and chill it overnight. This works especially well if you’re making these for a party. That way you can get the risotto out of the way 2 days ahead, form the cakes the day before and fry them up before your guests arrive, keeping them warm in the oven. Easy peasy.