Mushroom risotto cakes with zucchini sauce

Mushroom risotto cakes with zucchini sauce

These great risotto cakes can be prepared in advance, which makes life easy. Any risotto you like can be formed into these cakes; the cakes also make wonderful little canapés when rolled small.


  • 220 g (73/4 oz/1 cup) arborio rice
  • 10 g (1/4 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) dry white wine
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/3 cup) freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
  • 140 g (5 oz/2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for shallow-frying

  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • 250 g (9 oz) field mushrooms, sliced
  • 100 g (31/2 oz) Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 100 g (31/2 oz) small button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A pinch of chopped thyme
  • Sea salt

  • Zucchini sauce
  • 450 g (1 lb) zucchini (courgette), coarsely grated
  • 11/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) water, vegetable or chicken stock
  • 11/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


To make the sautéed mushrooms, heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, then add the garlic, thyme and a pinch of sea salt and cook for 1 minute. Add all the mushrooms and cook, stirring continuously, over high heat for 5–10 minutes, or until the mushrooms release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To make the risotto cakes, soak the porcini mushrooms in 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) boiling water for 20 minutes, or until soft. Drain, reserve the liquid and chop the porcini. Pour the porcini stock into a saucepan with the vegetable or chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook over low heat until the onion is soft. Add the rice and stir over medium heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the rice is well coated in the onion mixture and lightly toasted.

Add the wine and stir until completely reduced. Add the reserved porcini mushrooms and the stock, ladle by ladle, until the rice is just tender, allowing each ladle to be absorbed before you add the next. Stir in the sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan, mix well and check the seasoning. Remove from the heat and spread over a tray to cool.

When cold, divide the rice into 16 portions and shape each portion into a neat round. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Dip the risotto cakes in egg wash and then coat with breadcrumbs. Shallow-fry the cakes in olive oil until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.

Meanwhile, to make the zucchini sauce, heat the oil in a small pan over low heat. Add the garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes and cook until the garlic is soft. Increase the heat to medium and add the zucchini.

Stir to coat in the oil mixture, then add the water or stock and simmer for several minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Stir through the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the zucchini sauce among four shallow bowls and then arrange the risotto cakes over the top.

NOTES: First published in Neil’s cookbook Good Food.