Eggs on Risotto Cakes with Basil and Spinach or What to do with Leftover Risotto

IMG_2702A Twin-Cities friend who is a member of the church I served in Minneapolis…


Miss you…Prospect Park United Methodist.

…once told me, “I’m so glad when you give some ideas of what to do with the leftovers!”  I know I should do it more often, because creative leftover use is one of the hallmarks of being a good cook.  (And often we like the leftovers even better than the original dish.)

In the interest of being a conservative cook — and as a lifelong Dem, I mean this only in the strictest sense of the word  — who throws little away, I am sincere in using up every last little bit. Am I always successful?  Certainly not. But I try. It strums up my creativity; it saves a buck.  It stretches me as a cook, as a lover of food, the earth, and my own locale. It saves time. Sometimes I just want to read a Louise Penny book.

Yesterday I put up a fun post:



I made twice the shrimp I’d need and threw the excess in with a hugely-veggie marinara sauce and some whole-wheat pasta that felt a bit like an old post you can look at here.  A day later, a small container of risotto sadly slept in the fridge, wondering what could possibly become of it.

In Donna Leon’s captivating mystery set in Venice (one in a series), Death in a Strange Country, protagonist and Venetian police detective Guido Brunetti goes home for dinner one night to a first course of risotto (I think lamb shanks were the main course.) made by his dynamic and loving-but-aloof  wife, Paola.  He wonders if he should finish the rest of the bowl and Paola says that he should as neither of them likes it leftover.

That isn’t the case in my house. I love it cold, hot, any which way but loose.

Rather than clean the risotto out when it turned green in a couple of weeks, I brought it out for breakfast, patted it into a cake, fried it up and put an egg on top. Dave saw me eating this and begged for one of his own. I obliged. Only because the rest of the risotto needed to be used.

As a new deck is added to our house, I need all the help I can get.


Try this:


serves 2

This fast and filling breakfast makes quick use of leftover risotto, by making cakes and frying them up crispy as a “toast” for fried eggs.  You could also make a bunch of risotto on purpose just for such a beautiful breakfast.

  • 2 cups fresh greens
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup leftover, cold risotto–any kind (Use my risotto recipe from the previous post if you like.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil

Divide the greens between 2 plates; squeeze lemon over each and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a small skillet with the oil over medium-high heat.  Divide the risotto in half and pat each into about a half-inch patty.  Add the patties to the skillet; fry on one side until brown, turn over, and fry until the other side is brown and crispy. Place one patty on each layer of greens.

Break the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and fry as desired.  (Over easy is my preferred method here.)  Add an egg to the top of each risotto cake. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh basil.  Serve hot.



Sing a new song; use up your leftovers!


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