Fontina Risotto Cakes with Fresh Chives (Recipe)

Recipe courtesy of Westchester cook Lisa Ocasio


3 cups (approx.) low-salt chicken broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp (¼ stick) butter
½ cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
½ cup (packed) coarsely grated Fontina cheese (about 2 oz)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 large egg yolk
2 large eggs
Canola oil (for frying)
Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh chives


  • Bring 3 cups broth to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to very low; cover and keep warm. Heat olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 30 seconds. Add broth, 1/3 cup at a time, and simmer until rice is just tender and risotto is creamy, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, and stirring often, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in 6 tablespoons Parmesan and butter. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread risotto in 13” x 9” x 2” pan and cool completely.
  • Mix ½ cup panko, Fontina cheese, parsley, chopped chives, and 1 egg yolk into risotto. Shape into  1¼-inch balls; flatten to 2-inch rounds. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  • Preheat oven to 250°F. Set another rimmed baking sheet in oven. Beat 2 eggs in shallow bowl to blend. Place 1 cup panko in another shallow bowl. Dip risotto cakes into beaten egg, then into panko to coat. Pour enough canola oil into large skillet to coat bottom; heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sauté risotto cakes until crisp and brown, about 2½ minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet in oven.
  • Serve risotto cakes sprinkled with cheese and garnished with chives.

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