Well, not exactly a terrine, since we think this is better hot, right out of the oven (terrines are often served chilled and sliced); plus, we have no idea how terrines are really made, so perhaps we should have titled this “Risotto Loaf.” Regardless, this is, as you might surmise, another in our series of you-read-it-here-first Scratchin’ It originals. It also uses up leftover risotto, which to our minds, never re-heats well.
Basically, we were looking for a way to heat some leftover risotto in a new way when we came across the idea of making a layered dish of risotto and peas baked in a loaf pan. That’s probably enough instructions for our long-time readers, but, let’s write it up any way.
Since it’s not really a recipe, we’ll just tell you what we did.
Preheat oven to 350°F. We figured that we’d want a medium-hot oven. Not something so hot that the outside would crisp and brown, so we settled on that all-purpose temperature of 350°F.
Line loaf pan. We know that risotto has a tendency to stick; plus, we were hoping to be able to lift out the risotto loaf and slice it, so we lined a loaf pan with baking parchment. A light oiling of the pan before placing two strips of parchment will help hold them in place, making sure that some rises above the rim so you can use it as a handle later to pull out the terrine.
Beat egg. Want the risotto to hold together? Then try this. In a medium bowl, whisk an egg until all the whites are broken up, then add the leftover risotto and gently stir to break up the clumps and get the rice grains covered in egg.
Layer risotto and peas. We wanted a layer of risotto, a layer of peas, and another layer of risotto, so that’s what we put down, smoothing it at each step. No other reason than for the way it would look. You could use something else for middle layer, or leave it out. We will warn you that you’ll want to use thawed peas (or other vegetable), and not frozen. Otherwise, you’ll bake the dish for 45 minutes and the peas will only be lukewarm. You can guess how we know.
Add toppings. Topping for some texture, which is important, so we added about 1/4 cup of pecans and a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan — is there anything that doesn’t taste better with a bit of Parmesan?
Bake. Slide into the preheated oven and bake until the cheese is browned and everything is heated through, about 30 to 45 minutes (longer with frozen peas).
Serve. Let the terrine set up for a few minutes, then lift it out of the pan, before trying to slice. Ours didn’t slice well.
This was a good way to heat up leftover risotto. Adding the egg kept it creamy and seemed to prevent the sauce from separating. The rice warmed nicely, but we’d made the mistake of using peas without thawing them. In retrospect, we should have put the peas in a colander and poured boiling water over them — that would have been enough. So, our peas were lukewarm, which we think kept the risotto from firming up. Oh, well, live and learn. Even so, this was a very good and easy way to use up some leftovers — four stars.