Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Risotto & Arancini Balls (Yes, Please)

How about arancini for some delicious party food you know you can eat?!

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Arancini Balls (ImageSource: sbs.com)

Gluten-Free & Vegetarian Arancini Balls

Here’s the recipe for delicious party food you know you can eat!

Risotto 

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (use leeks for low salicylates)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio (risotto) rice
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable stock (use home-made or preservative/additive free)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch good quality sea salt
  • 1 handful fresh thyme, stalks removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas (frozen is fine, just defrost by rinse under warm water before adding to dish)
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes (optional, but gives a parmesan-y flavour)

Method

Place stock in a pot and warm to simmering. Fry onion in olive oil over medium-low heat till translucent. Add Arborio rice and stir to coat; add garlic. Use vinegar to deglaze pan (pour into pan and scrape bottom with a wooden spatula to get all the yummy bits off). Gradually add stock (I use a soup ladle) and stir rice, then wait till liquid has all been absorbed before adding another ladle-full of stock. This process takes about 20 minutes. Add thyme, peas, and nutritional yeast flakes and stir through till warm. Enjoy alongside your favourite protein and a green salad, or if you can resist, let cool then place in fridge to cool completely before making the arancini balls!

Arancini balls

Ingredients

  • Gluten free flour, flat layer on dinner plate
  • 1 egg, beaten in bowl
  • gluten free rice crumbs, ½ cup or more if needed
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella (from delis), chopped into cm cubes
  • 1-2 L rice bran oil

Method

Using cold risotto, scoop heaped tablespoons into your hand, push mozzarella into the centre and form a ball around it. (This is quite sticky and you’ll feel like they’re not going to come together, but they will!). Place balls on a clean plate and keep rolling.

Once you’re done rolling balls, place them in the fridge for half an hour to firm up again before crumbing.

Crumb balls by rolling them in flour (shake off excess by bouncing them in your hands with fingers slightly spread, so the flour falls through your fingers) then into the egg mix to coat, then the breadcrumbs. (Hint: try and keep one hand for egg and one for breadcrumbs… you’ll still get messy, but your bowls will stay a lot cleaner.) Again, pop the balls in the fridge when you’re done to firm up before frying.

Heat oil in a large saucepan/pot/wok until tiny bubbles form when you place a wooden utensil in the oil. Use tongs to place balls into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to soak up excess oil.

These babies are ready to go, just don’t burn your mouth getting into the ‘chef’s taster’ too soon! Serve as is, no sauce required. You can make these in advance and warm in the oven at party time, if you like. Very popular with kiddies and adults alike.

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Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Arancini Balls