Making risotto balls is a great way to use leftover risotto, which is what I did with the extra leek risotto from a meal I made in August. I formed the risotto into balls, stuffed with baby bocconcini, and froze them until I was ready to use them.
That day arrived, and after defrosting the risotto balls it was as simple as breading and baking them!
Using cold risotto, form it into rough balls about 2" in diameter.
Count out the same number of baby bocconcini balls.
Press the risotto ball flat, and place a bocconcini ball in the centre, as shown.
Enclose the bocconcini with the risotto, and re-shape into a ball.
Using cold water to wet your hands and prevent the rice from sticking, gently press and shape the ball, making sure that the sticky rice holds together.
At this point you can freeze the risotto balls, as I did, or just chill them really well before moving onto the next step...
Set up a breading line, with seasoned flour, followed by beaten egg and then breadcrumbs.
Roll the chilled risotto balls in the flour, then dip them into the egg and lastly, roll them in the breadcrumbs to completely cover them, gently pressing to make sure the crumbs adhere.
Turn the oven on to 400F to heat up, and lightly grease a baking dish.
Place the breaded risotto balls into the greased baking dish and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Bake until the centre is hot, the crumbs are golden and crunchy, about 30 - 45 minutes. The time depends on the size of your risotto balls.
Remove from the oven and serve...if any of the bocconcini has leaked out, just scoop the gooey melted cheese up and add it to the plate! I served mine with a chicken breast that was stuffed with goat cheese and roasted red pepper, and covered with capicolla.
- The size of these risotto balls can be varied; try making them as small as 1/2" and serving them as a canape, accompanied by a dip.
- If you make them ahead and freeze them, defrost before breading and baking.
- If you do not choose to freeze them, make the balls ahead of baking so that they can be well chilled.
- The cheese in the centre is optional; it can be replaced with any other cheese of your choice or completely omitted.
- I baked these, as I am not a fan of deep frying, and baking is a healthier option, but they can be deep or shallow fried if you prefer.