Mar 11, 2009

Riso al Salto

For this week's What's Cooking Wednesday menu, I have a suggestion for using leftovers of whatever wonderful risotto you’ll have made. The dish is called riso al salto (where ‘salto’ means jump, a reference that will become clear soon). It is a family legacy dish of which I am very fond. Comfort food to the nth degree.

When I prepare risotto I usually make what I consider enough for however many people I am planning to feed, but it usually happens that I have more than a portion left, which the day after I use to make riso al salto. I generously grease a non-stick frying pan with olive oil. This is because I grew up in olive oil country. In northern Italy you’d put una noce di burro, a bit of butter in the pan. Whatever ingredient you choose, warm up the skillet and make sure it is coated with it. Then add the risotto, spread it and pat it down with a fork to form a frittata. Let the risotto warm up on low heat until a crisp golden crust forms on the bottom surface, then flip it and land it on the other side. That’s the salto I was talking about.
Relax! I meant that metaphorically. The idea is that you need to get the top surface to become the bottom one and vice versa. This is not too difficult if you start with a small portion of risotto to begin with. A wide spatula may be enough to hold the risotto, then it is a matter of fearlessness and steadiness to perform the sleight of hand that flips the ordeal. Alternatively, you can place a large enough lipless lid over the riso and upend the pan so that the bottom surface comes out on top and then you can slide the uncripsed side of the riso patty back in the pan. Did I confuse you sufficiently? Whatever the chosen method for the salto, let the uncooked side (now at the bottom) become golden as well, and then transfer to a warmed plate. Dust with grated Parmigiano and serve hot alongside a fresh mesculun salad.

For more recipes, go visit Shan, home of WCW at Tales of the Fairy Blogmother.


  1. Yes, I remember now. Can we add scallions and other stuff before we flip over? I'm trying it today.

    On another note, I am making strawberry gelato courtesy of the Italian Travelogue widget I have on my site. It asks for just a few ingredients, and can be worked out without an ice-cream maker. As of this minute, the blended version is freezing and being stirred every half hour until the right consistency. I plan on growing lots of berries, again, this summer, enough to freeze batches and batches for just the time when I can't wait to get the taste of summer in my mouth.


    p.s. I still have not found the zeppole di San Giuseppe for his feast. I guess I have to improvise.

  2. Damn, the zeppole! I forgot. Getting onto it today, but only if you promise to send over a virtual vat of that gelato.
    Among the berries you plan to grow, you should consider fragoline di bosco, the teeny, wild mega-flavor strawberries that grow spontaneously near the volcanic rim of lake Nemi. It may be a challenge, but nulla è impossibile, no?

  3. Premesso che: solo da un paio di mesi ho iniziato un corso di lingua inglese, puoi capire (1)la mia confusione anche solo nel guardare da lontano i tuoi testi (2)che la cosa che mi riesce meglio è quella guardare la realizzazione finale dei tuoi consigli culinari.
    A parte questo, però, ho letto con piacere la piccola parte scritta nell'unica lingua che ancora riesco a comprendere.
    Ciao e complimenti per tutto.

  4. Nazzareno - grazie di essere passato dal mio blog! I post Italiani aumenteranno e poi sto pensando seriamente di tradurre quelli pubblicati in inglese. A presto

  5. left over risotto? what's that? haha, i will make extra in the future to try this recipe. wonderful.
    thank you!
    xx lori

  6. I know leftover risotto is an oxymoron. That's why I always make extra: not in the event, but purposely for further re-use. Thanks for becoming a regulal, my small posse is growing!