As with my other worldly possessions, I get obsessed with kitchen and food-related items until I run them down. With Nigel Slater’s cookbook, I’ve marked a lot of the photos with scraps of paper to remind myself that there is another recipe that I must try. One of the best photographed dishes in the book is of the taleggio and parsley cake on page 366. I’ve been using taleggio lately–what with the grilled press I picked up on a whim–and wanted to continue before the smell of autumn turns into the smell of winter without warning.
I’ve changed the name of this dish because I also cooked my first-ever risotto. I didn’t have white wine in stock, so I used Japanese sake instead. I’m not quite sure if I made the risotto Lisa’s Italian father would approve of, but it was perfectly fluffy for these cakes. I couldn’t believe how presentable they looked after the small effort I put into making and frying them. I would love to make smaller versions for the next dinner party I throw.
1/4 pound of taleggio cheese, sliced, rind discarded
a handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
a small block of Parmesan cheese, grated
For the risotto:
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup sake
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
1. Make the risotto. SautÃ© onions in olive oil and butter. Add rice and stir with a spatula. Add sake, 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and salt. Keep stirring. Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock in 3/4 cup increments and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed, stirring constantly until rice mixture is creamy and al dente.
2. Mix in parsley leaves and cheese when risotto is cool enough to handle. Scoop out a spoonful, pat a chunk of taleggio cheese on it, and then pack it in with another spoonful of risotto, making a small ball.
3. Using a large skillet, heat some butter and oil. Fry risotto cakes over medium heat. Using a heat-resistant spatula and a large spoon for support, gently turn over to cook the other side.