- 1 tbsp. 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 (DT: I used lemon thyme, oregano, and basil)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- Makes 20-30 rice balls
- Preheat oven to 450°. 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 the chopped herbs into the rice. Season the rice with salt and 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. ( Periodically wet your hands will keep the rice from sticking to you. This will allow you to make more compact rice balls.)
- In a shallow bowl, toss the panko with the remaining 1/4 up of Parmesan. Dredge the rice ball in the panko crumbs and transfer to a large 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.