CDWM SA - Ep.6 - Shantel - Starter

Shantel’s Risotto Balls on Fresh Basil Pesto


Serves: 6-8 people

Preparation time: 90 min

Risotto balls

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 950 ml chicken stock, heated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tub garlic herb cream cheese
  • 1-1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten with water
  • breadcrumbs

Basil pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can substitute chopped walnuts)
  • 3 tsp minced garlic (± 3 cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper (more to taste)

Preparation method

Risotto balls

  • Sauté onion in butter and olive oil, in a large pan.
  • Add garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Cook for 1 min.
  • Add rice and cook until slightly toasted.
  • Add white wine and simmer until evaporated, then slowly add chicken stock, stirring continuously.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until rice cooked through, ± 25 min.
  • Remove from heat, stir in parmesan and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Empty risotto onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and spread in an even layer.
  • Allow to cool completely, then form chilled risotto into small balls with herb cream cheese placed in the centre.
  • Note: Risotto can be made the day before.

Basil pesto

  • In a food processor, blend basil leaves and pine nuts.
  • Add garlic and parmesan.
  • While food processor is running, slowly add olive oil in a small, steady stream. Occasionally stop to scrape down sides of food processor.
  • Note: Adding olive oil slowly, while food processor is running, will help it emulsify and keep olive oil from separating.
  • Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste.