Packed full of flavour, these savory rice cakes are perfect picnic food as they are easily transportable and are delicious at room temperature.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium zucchini, grated
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 cup risotto rice, eg Arborio
2½ cups chicken stock, hot
finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
5 large eggs, size 7
½ cup cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 roasted red capsicum, sliced
1½ cups each packed rocket and baby spinach leaves, shredded
⅓ cup roasted hazelnuts or almonds, chopped
sea salt and ground pepper
Grease a 6 hole texas muffin tin and fully line with baking paper, bringing it well up above the edge of the tins to contain the risotto.
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan pan and cook the onions, garlic, zucchini and tarragon with a good pinch of salt over a low heat until tender, but not coloured.
Add the rice, stirring to coat each grain in the oil. Cook for another minute until the rice is warm (toasted).
Begin adding the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next quantity. After 20 minutes the risotto should be just tender to the bite and have a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice and season generously. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk the eggs and cream together, season generously then stir into the risotto. Add all the remaining ingredients and gently mix to combine.
Divide between the tins, piling it up so they are filled generously.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cakes are firm to the touch. Cover the tin loosely with foil after 25 minutes to stop the tops from over-browning.
To serve: If taking on a picnic, transport the cakes in the tin and if garnishing, pack this separately and add when serving. Best served at room temperature without being refrigerated or served warm.
An optional garnish is to top each cake with a dollop of sour cream, a roasted vine tomato and baby salad leaves.