Crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle, these rice cakes are simpler than they appear. Just mix brown rice with ground fennel seeds and egg whites, and panfry.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Add fennel, and reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing once, until golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Clear a small space in pan, and add 1/2 teaspoon oil and the garlic. Saute, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and beginning to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until fennel is tender, about 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; add remaining water, the broccoli rabe, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover, and cook, stirring once, until greens are tender, about 3 minutes more. Uncover pan, and let sit.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in another large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until very foamy and starting to turn white but not stiff. Stir in rice, fennel seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop 4 separate spoonfuls (about half the batter) into pan, and spread each into a 3-inch round. Cook until golden brown, crisp, and set, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook 1 minute. Keep cakes in a warm oven if desired. Wipe out pan, and repeat process with remaining oil and batter.
Divide cakes and vegetables among 4 plates. Top with ricotta, drizzle with oil, season with pepper, and scatter with basil.