Recipe courtesy of Zooey Deschanel

Pan-Fried Risotto Cake

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling and cooking

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups loosely packed baby spinach

3 cups cooked leftover risotto, cooled (leftover paella rice will work great too!)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup grated Gruyere

1/2 cup fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To an ovensafe baking dish or sheet pan, add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil to liberally coat. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, making sure that the vegetables are evenly coated in the oil. Roast until the onions are soft and lightly browned and the tomatoes are very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat an 8- to 10-inch ovensafe frying pan over medium heat. Add a light drizzle of olive oil and heat until just beginning to shimmer. Add the spinach and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the risotto and egg. Add the roasted vegetables and spinach. Fold to combine.
  5. Preheat the broiler to 500 degrees F.
  6. Return the same frying pan used for the spinach to the stove and turn the heat to medium. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Pour the risotto mixture into the pan and press into a smooth even layer covering the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid and cook until heated through and beginning to crisp on the bottom, about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and sprinkle the Gruyere in an even layer over the top. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the lid and transfer the pan to the broiler. Broil, watching carefully so it doesn't burn, until the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 1 minute.
  9. Garnish with the basil and cut or scoop from the pan to serve.