Neil Perry's mushroom risotto cakes with aioli

Neil Perry
Serve these mushroom risotto cakes with chilli sauce, aioli and salad greens.
Serve these mushroom risotto cakes with chilli sauce, aioli and salad greens. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

These cakes are peerless placed on a bed of mixed salad leaves and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice – a hot, crispy foil to a cold, crispy salad. The dish makes an excellent entrée, but works just as well as a main with the addition of some sides, such as boiled greens and potatoes. You can prepare the risotto-cake mixture a day ahead.

Ingredients

10g dried porcini mushrooms

750ml vegetable or chicken stock

30ml extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

sea salt

220g arborio rice

80ml dry white wine

30g parmesan, freshly grated

1 egg yolk, lightly whisked

140g fresh breadcrumbs

olive oil, for shallow-frying

mixed salad leaves, to serve

1 cup aioli

1 fresh lemon, quartered

For the sauteed mushrooms

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into dice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to serve

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

pinch of chopped thyme

sea salt

250g field mushrooms, sliced

100g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

100g button mushrooms, sliced

Method

1. For the sauteed mushrooms, heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic, thyme and sea salt and cook for 1 minute. Add all the mushrooms and cook, stirring continuously over a high heat, for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. To make the risotto cakes, soak the porcini mushrooms in 250ml boiling water for 20 minutes until soft. Drain, reserving the liquid, and chop mushrooms. Pour the porcini stock into a saucepan with the vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook over low heat until the onion is soft. Add the rice and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until it's well coated in the onion mixture and lightly toasted. Add the wine and stir until completely reduced. Add the reserved porcini mushrooms and the stock, ladle by ladle, until the rice is just tender. Stir in the sauteed mushrooms and parmesan, mix well and check the seasoning. Remove from the heat and spread over a tray to cool.

4. When cold, divide the rice into 16 portions and shape into neat rounds. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Dip the risotto cakes in whisked egg yolk and coat with breadcrumbs. Shallow-fry them in olive oil until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.

5. To serve, place 4 cakes on a nest of leaves arranged on each plate, drizzle with olive oil, and add a big dollop of aioli and a wedge of lemon on the side.

Tip: If you don't like mushrooms, use seafood, another vegetable or meat; the cakes will be just as delicious. And while we're improvising, why not add some chilli to the aioli to spice things up a bit?

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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