I have Amanda Shires to thank for introducing me to the concept of saffron risotto, and I have the amazing Nora O'Connor to thank for introducing me to the concept of risotto cakes. I interviewed Nora for Paste Food, and pressed her hard for details on how to make and serve these. She generously shared. I followed Nora's suggestions exactly, down to dishing the cakes up on greens, topped with a fried egg. I can't imagine a better brunch, or a more sufficient consolation for the fact that it's the third day of spring and it's snowing. Don't despair. Make risotto cakes. Spring will come for real before too long.
Saffron Risotto Cakes
3 cups leftover saffron risotto
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, plus more to coat cakes
Salt and pepper
Canola oil or coconut oil
In a large bowl, combine risotto, eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper (season generously) and stir well. Divide into 12 or so portions, flatten into cakes (about 1/4 inch thick or so), and coat with bread crumbs (doesn't have to be perfect), gently pressing crumbs in.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil until it's moving around but not smoking. Cook cakes, 4 at a time, for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you want, you can keep them warm in a 200-degree oven.
For a wonderful meal, fry up 1-2 eggs per person, sauté a bunch of baby kale in olive oil and season it with balsamic vinegar. Serve risotto cakes on a big bed of greens with eggs on top.