Risotto cakes are great for dinner parties because you can do all the cooking in advance. Then you can enjoy socializing with your guests while your delicious risotto cakes and roasted vegetables are heating in the oven.
Risotto is comfort food that is exciting and special enough to serve at a dinner party, but I never do, because it has to be cooked just before you serve it, and it's a workout standing over steaming pots of rice and broth for 30 minutes of vigorous stirring - not what I want to be doing while my guests are sipping cocktails and enjoying hors d'oeuvres. If you don't mind sweating it out in the kitchen a day or two before your party, you can make the risotto into "cakes" by shaping them into patties, lightly dusting them with flour, and browning them in a little oil. They can be stored in the fridge for a day or two and reheated in the oven during your party, while you are enjoying your friends.
Fennel can be challenging to cut if you're not familiar with it. First cut off the dark green fronds - those are not edible, though the frilly parts are sometimes used as a garnish. Trim off a thin slice from the bottom, to remove the brown end. Pull off any damaged outer leaves or use a vegetable peeler to remove discolored areas from the bulb.
If you are chopping the fennel for sautéing, cut the bulb in half vertically. Then cut out the core, which is a little triangular part near the root end. Place the halves face down and slice vertically. Then turn and slice horizontally.
If you are slicing fennel for roasting, do not remove the core. You'll need that to hold the slices together. First slice the fennel bulb in half vertically. Then lay the halves down and slice vertically through the core.
This recipe is adapted from a cookbook called "Marie Claire: Cooking" by Donna Hay.
If you aren't familiar with Donna Hay, she's the Australian chef and food stylist behind Marie Claire and Donna Hay magazines. She's also the author of many wonderful cookbooks.
Roasting the vegetables brings out their sweetness, tenderizes them, and makes them irresistible.
I suggest putting on some good music and pouring yourself a glass of wine while you're stirring the rice.
This is a special dish for a special occasion!
Other 'Special Occasion' Dishes from Panning The Globe
- Turkish Manti: Tiny Lamb-Filled Dumplings with Three Sauces
- Roasted Squash Stuffed with Roasted Vegetables
- Hasselback Potatoes Baked with Lemon Garlic Dijon Dressing
Here's the recipe for Risotto Cakes with Goat Cheese, Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print