Recipes at Sound Food

Risotto Cakes, Featuring Green Garlic

Recipe reprinted with permission from Small Potatoes

What is green garlic?I want to be completely honest. This is a very fussy recipe. You won’t find yourself spontaneously making this some Wednesday night after work. However, it is a great dish to make for guests. All of the preparation can be easily done the day before you want to serve it. In fact, it’s actually better the day after you make it! These risotto cakes would make a fancy vegetarian main dish or work well as a refreshing side.

Green garlic is different from a garlic scape (though scapes would probably work very well for this recipe, too.) Green garlic is what you get when you prematurely pull up a garlic plant. It’s delicious and pungent and you’re lucky if you can pick up some at the farmers’ market.

For risotto-
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of white pepper
3 cups chicken broth or stock (or substitute veggie)
1/2 c. white wine (Try the ferryboat white.)

To finish-
small bunch of green garlic (about 6 stalks), chopped coarsely
1/3 c. Parmesan, grated
olive oilStir in the green garlic and cheese off heat.

  1. Get out two pans: one to warm your stock in, the other in which to create your risotto. Begin to warm your stock on low. Find your ladle.
  2. Heat 1 tbls. of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add garlic and arborio rice and continue to cook for about two minutes. (The traditional way to know if your arborio rice has been sauteed enough is to look for a translucent edge and a white dot on the grain of rice.)
  3. Splash in your wine and stir. Scrape up the brown bits with your spoon.When the wine is absorbed, ladle in one cup of stock, and reduce heat to low.
  4. Keep simmering and adding stock, one cup at a time. Your total simmer time comes to about 25 minutes. Taste your rice for seasoning and to see if it is done. (If it is not tender, add a little more liquid, continue to simmer on low, and stir.)
  5. Off heat, stir in your Parmesan and green garlic. Spray a baking dish or cookie sheet with olive oil and spread the rice mixture out to cool.
  6. Prepare a cookie sheet. Line it with plastic wrap and spray it with olive oil.
  7. When the rice is cool, scoop up a handful and shape it into a ball. Be gentle, risotto cakesbut press the rice together as you shape. Make 6 balls and space them apart on your cookie sheet.
  8. Wash your hands. While your hands are still wet, gently press the balls down and tend to the edges, making them as round as possible.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours. You will have better results if you let them sit in the refrigerator over night.
  10. When you are ready to cook and serve. Heat 3 tbls. olive oil over medium heat. Drop a grain of rice in the oil to test. If it bubbles and sizzles, it’s hot enough. Fry each cake about 5 minutes per side. Don’t peek! If you flip too early, it will stick

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