Bubble and squeak risotto with crispy egg

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 15 minutes

Bubble and squeak usually refers to mashed and fried cabbage, carrot, peas, potato or even Brussels sprouts. Here, the British delicacy is used in the otherwise Italian dish of risotto, topped with a gloriously crispy deep-fried egg – a classic Paul Ainsworth twist.

First published in 2015




Bubble and squeak risotto

Crispy eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 100g of white breadcrumbs, fine
  • 1000ml of vegetable oil


To begin, place a pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and gently sweat - the onions should not colour
Once the onions are soft, add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in the butter. In a separate pan, heat the vegetable stock
Add a ladleful of stock to the pan. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add another ladleful. Repeat until 1 litre of stock is used up, stirring occasionally to stop the rice from sticking to the pan, approximately 15-20 minutes
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. More stock will be added later on to finish the risotto
Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a dash of olive oil. Sweat the carrots until they soften, then add the cabbage and 100ml of vegetable stock and steam until soft
Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. The bubble and squeak will be added to the risotto to finish
Boil some water in a separate pan then add the vinegar. Poach 4 of the eggs for 2-3 minutes for a runny yolk, or 4 minutes for a firm yolk. Lift the eggs out with a slotted spoon to check they are cooked
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 4 eggs
Once cooked, transfer the eggs onto a tray lined with kitchen towel and place in the fridge to cool while you prepare the crumbing mix
Add the flour to a bowl, the 2 beaten eggs to another and the breadcrumbs to a third. Roll each egg in the flour, the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to fry
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g of white breadcrumbs
To finish the risotto, pour the remaining 300ml of stock into the reserved pot of rice and heat until the rice absorbs it and the risotto is thick and runny. Stir in a knob of butter and remove from the heat
Depending on how rich you like risotto, place half or all of the mascarpone on top of the rice so it melts in, then add the Parmesan to finish. Season to taste and stir in the bubble and squeak
Before serving, fry the crumbed eggs in a pan of vegetable oil until golden and crispy, approximately 2 minutes. Remove and drain on kitchen towel
  • 1000ml of vegetable oil
Divide the risotto onto plates and arrange a crispy egg on top. Finish with some chopped tarragon and a little olive oil. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Southampton-born Paul Ainsworth got his break courtesy of Gary Rhodes, whom he worked for three years. After that, he moved to Gordon Ramsay's organisation, working first at his flagship Royal Hospital Road restaurant and then with Marcus Wareing at Petrus.

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