“Waste not, want not“, saith popular wisdom. I do hate having to throw out good ingredients or tasty leftovers. I generally strive to make the most of my supplies, and in fact it’s an excellent exercise for your creative muscles to try and find ways to do so. But I have to admit it’s a constant battle between this thrifty side of me and the other one, who rolls her eyes and moans, “We’ve eaten that twice already, can we please move on to something else?”
So I could have thrown out the leftover basmati rice that we had in the fridge, but decided instead to make little rice cakes, mixing the rice with an egg and what vegetables I had on hand, and cooking the patties in the skillet. The resulting galettes were a very pleasant mix of crunchy and tender, with the lovely aroma of basmati rice enjoying the fresh company of spring onions and diced tomato, the whole thing being spiked up by a sprinkle of red pepper flakes — piment d’Espelette, to be specific.
They are very easy to make and assemble, the only step requiring a bit of skill is the flipping of patties in the skillet: be gentle but quick, and don’t flip them too soon or they’ll fall apart — which has no consequence on taste, just presentation. Naturally the recipe below is just a suggestion, you should go ahead and use whichever vegetables (raw or cooked) you have on hand, and maybe throw in a bit of ham or diced tofu in the mix.
Galettes de Riz
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 tomato, juice and seeds removed, diced
- one clove garlic, chopped thinly
- salt, pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- fresh cilantro
In a medium mixing-bowl, combine the rice, egg, spring onions, tomato, and garlic; stir until well combined. Season generously with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the rice mixture from the fridge. Use two tablespoons to form patties (about 3 inches in diameter) with the mixture, and transfer them into the skillet. Cook for five to eight minutes on one side, or until browned, then flip carefully with a spatula and cook for another five minutes on the other side.
Serve immediately with fresh cilantro.