Sweet Risotto Fritters with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

Chef Melissa Kelly of Primo, in Rockland, Maine, features these fritters in spring. They taste like sophisticated doughnuts, especially when accompanied by strawberry-rhubarb compote.

Sweet Risotto Fritters with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
Photo: © Anna Williams
6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 cup arborio rice

  • 1/4 cup orange muscat or Late Harvest Riesling

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 large egg whites

  • Peanut oil, for frying

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise

  • 1 pound rhubarb, stalks only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Make the compote

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and serve warm.

Make the fritters

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, medium saucepan. Add the rice and stir over moderate heat until coated with the oil. Add the orange muscat and cook, stirring, until it is completely absorbed. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the milk is completely absorbed. Continue adding milk, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the risotto is creamy and porridgelike and the grains of rice are just tender. Stir in the sugar, vanilla and orange zest and transfer the rice to a bowl. Let cool slightly, stir in the beaten egg, then stir in the flour and baking powder.

  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir half of the beaten egg whites into the risotto, then fold in the rest.

  3. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 2 inches of peanut oil to 350°. Position a wire rack on a baking sheet and cover the rack with paper towels. Scoop rounded tablespoons of the rice into the hot oil without crowding and fry until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the rack to drain. Repeat to make the remaining fritters. Sprinkle the fritters with confectioners' sugar and serve warm, with the strawberry-rhubarb compote.

Make ahead

The compote can be refrigerated for 4 days.

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