Rocket and lemon risotto cakes with pear and walnut salad

This recipes makes 12 small cakes or one large cake.
This recipes makes 12 small cakes or one large cake. Photo: Murdoch Books
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Kid-friendly

You can also make a larger cake the size of your frying pan. Cook until the base is crisp, then slide the cake onto a clean plate. Put the frying pan over the plate and flip the lot to return the cake, crisp side up, to the pan. Cook until the second side is crisp, then slide out of the pan and cut into wedges to serve.

Ingredients

750ml (3 cups) good-quality vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

165g (¾ cup) arborio rice

60ml (¼ cup) dry white wine

50g (½ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese

70g rocket, roughly chopped

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 egg, lightly beaten

60ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 pear, cored and sliced

2 tbsp roughly chopped walnuts

Method

1. Heat the stock in a small saucepan over high heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the rice until well coated with oil. Stir in the wine and cook for 30 seconds, or until the wine has been absorbed. Add 125ml (½ cup) of the stock and stir gently until the stock is absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock until the rice is tender with just a slight bite.

3. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese, half the rocket, the basil and lemon zest and stand, covered, for 2 minutes, until the rocket has wilted and the cheese has melted. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the egg and stir through until combined. Transfer the risotto to a baking tray lined with baking paper and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold.

4. Divide the risotto mixture into 12 portions and shape each into a small patty. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes so the patties don't fall apart when cooked.

5. Preheat the oven to 140C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the patties in batches for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Don't be in a hurry to flip them over; they need to have a crisp base so that you can turn them and crisp up the other side. Place the cakes on the tray in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining cakes, adding more oil as needed.

5. Meanwhile, combine the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the pear, walnuts and remaining rocket in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing and toss gently.

6. Serve the risotto cakes with the pear and walnut salad.