Risotto al salto

(serves 2 | 20 minutes | easy)

The golden and creamy risotto alla milanese is one of Milan’s symbols, yet this delicacy already loses its creaminess and bite the next day. The solution came with risotto al salto, which remains unknown to most people. What began as a home-cooked dish – no honourable Milanese restaurateur would ever dare to serve repurposed leftovers – quickly became part of the local and regional gastronomic scene. Its success is attributable to the crunchy texture of the exterior crust which forms when sautèeing the rice in butter. 

Leftover risotto (of any kind, as long as it is not too cheesy) – 1 knob of butter -grated parmigiano, for serving  

  1. Remove the leftover risotto from the fridge a few hours prior to cooking it, letting it reach room temperature. 
  2. Place the butter in a non-stick (really non-stick) pan over a medium-high flame and let the butter melt and bubble, swirling it around the pan. Once it has melted and stopped bubbling vigorously, gently place the leftover risotto into the pan. 
  3. The leftover risotto will have taken the shape of the container you stored it in so break it apart using a wooden spoon in the pan. Once you’ve separated it enough, level it out with the spoon. 
  4. Keep cooking the rice over a medium flame until nice and crispy on the bottom (around 8 to 10 minutes). Shake the pan every once in a while to ensure that the rice isn’t sticking to the pan. 
  5. Once you’re satisfied with the crispness (you may peek at it by lifting a side with a spoon), it’s time to flip: hold the pan in your right hand and a large lid in your left, carefully slide the risotto (without breaking it!) onto the lid, then place the pan over the lid – upside down – and flip everything over, pressing firmly to stop it from falling. You should now have the crunchy side facing up. Cook the other side for a further 8 to 10 minutes, then slide the risotto al salto onto a serving dish and top with as much grated parmigiano as your heart desires.