Snap Pea Arancini
with Carrot Vinaigrette
In Sicily, Arancini are served as a traditional street food. The name means “little oranges” and is derived from their size and typical orange color. They are traditionally made by boiling rice and then mixing in ingredients like ground meat or vegetables. At home, Arancini are a great way to use left-over risotto. You can roll and freeze them, then thaw to room temperature and fry for a last minute appetizer.
Recipe makes 16-20 Arancini, total time:
- 1 pint carrot juice
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onions, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ¼ cup Sauvignon Blanc
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
- 8 ounces snap peas, boiled and puréed
- ¼ cup lemon zest, chopped
- 4 cups flour
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 4 cups plain bread crumbs
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- Chopped chives for garnish
Make the Carrot Vinaigrette
- Simmer the carrot juice over a very low flame until it evaporates down to a ¼ cup. Transfer to a blender with the rice vinegar, olive oil, pickled ginger and Dijon mustard. Blend well.
Make the Risotto
- In a medium sauce pot heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes. Add the salt and Sauvignon Blanc and stir until all of the wine evaporates.
- Add ½ cup of broth and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed into the rice. Repeat this step until all of the broth is used and the rice is tender. The consistency of the rice at this point should be creamy; if it is sticky or dry, add more water until it is soft and pourable (meaning, if it is poured onto a plate, it will run flat and not hold its shape).
- Turn off the heat and stir in the crème fraîche, Parmesan, snap pea purée and lemon zest. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until cool.
Make the Arancini
- Once cool, scoop up two tablespoons of the rice mixture and form into a little ball. (If the rice is too loose, fold in some bread crumbs to give it enough body to hold its shape.) Repeat with the remainder of the rice.
- Coat the rice balls in flour followed by the beaten egg mixture and the bread crumbs. Cook immediately, or refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze.
- Preheat the oil to 350°F in a large heavy saucepan. Add the Arancini and fry until golden brown on all sides (about 3-5 minutes). Strain onto a wire rack.
- To serve, pour the carrot vinaigrette onto a plate and place each Arancini on top of the vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped chives.
To keep your green vegetables bright green, be sure to cool them very quickly after cooking by placing them in a bath of ice cold water. The faster they cool off the brighter green they will stay. Make sure to prevent your green vegetables from coming in contact with lemon juice or vinegar until you are ready to consume them. The acid will cause the vegetables to lose their bright green color.