Parmigiano Reggiano Picnic Risotto Balls

Add variety to your picnic with these tasty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and wild mushroom risotto balls. Add Arborio rice to onions, garlic, mushrooms, white wine and stock and cook until rice is tender.

Add lemon zest, Parmigiano Reggiano and crème fraîche to the rice and once cool, shape into golf sized balls.

Dip the risotto balls into egg yolks and breadcrumbs and place in hot oil until golden brown. To make the dip, combine crème fraîche, garlic, chopped parsley and lemon zest.

Serve the risotto balls with plenty of lemon crème fraîche dip and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, known as ‘Parmesan’, is one of the world’s oldest and richest cheeses - still produced today as it was nine centuries ago.  Totally natural - it’s the only cheese that has such an extensive maturation which improves the nutrition, aroma and taste.

The use of raw milk and the richness of natural ingredients make this cheese a unique and superior product - It takes 16 litres of milk to produce one kilogram of cheese!  The minimum maturation time for Parmigiano Reggiano is 12 months, but only when it reaches approximately 24 months of age, is it at its best.  As well as having fantastic nutritional qualities, it’s easy to digest and is high in calcium.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product. PDOs are defined and protected by European Union law in order to defend the reputation of regional foods. This mark ensures that Parmigiano Reggiano can only be produced in designated areas of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna to the west of the Reno River and Mantua to the east of the Po River.

Parmigiano Reggiano Picnic Risotto Balls

 Makes 15-20 balls

1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed,
2 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
75g shitake mushrooms, chopped
75g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
150g Arborio risotto rice
150ml white wine
½ pint vegetable stock
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
75g grated Parmigano Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp crème fraîche
100g dry breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and black pepper

Lemon and crème fraîche dip:
150ml crème fraîche
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 handful chopped parsley
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute before adding in the rice. Stir until the rice is translucent, then add the wine
Once the wine has reduced add in the stock, one ladle at a time until the risotto rice is tender. This should take around 20 minutes
Once the rice is cooked, add the lemon zest, 50g grated Parmigano Reggiano, crème fraîche and season to taste. Leave to cool
Meanwhile, beat together all the ingredients for the garlic lemon crème fraîche dip and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate
Once the risotto is cool, mould it into golf-sized balls with your hands
Mix together the breadcrumbs and 25g grated Parmigano Reggiano cheese with plenty of black pepper

Dip each ball into beaten egg and then into breadcrumbs before carefully lowering into hot oil to deep frying for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with lemon and crème fraiche dip and plenty more Parmgian Reggiano cheese!

For more information on Parmigiano Reggiano, please visit

If you would like to receive more recipes for Parmigiano Reggiano please contact; The Dialogue Agency, 8 Oak Lane, Twickenham, London, TW1 3PA Tel: +44 (0)20 7389 9404 (24 hours) Email:

Photography: Steve Lee
Recipe Editing and Food Styling: Jocelyn Barker


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