- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as thyme, basil and oregano
- Salt and cracked black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes. Scrape the rice into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Stir the Gruyère, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all of the chopped herbs into the rice. Season the rice with salt and generously season with coarsely cracked pepper.
In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the rice to loosen the mixture, then stir in the remaining whites. Roll the rice into 1 1/2-inch balls.
In a shallow bowl, toss the <em>panko</em> with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Dredge the rice balls in the <em>panko</em> crumbs and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake the rice balls in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter and serve.
Savory Champagne, such as one with a high percentage of Pinot Meunier.