Ruby Red Beet Arancini
In Sicily, Arancini are served as a traditional street food. 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 leftover risotto. You can roll and freeze them, then thaw to room temperature and fry for a last minute appetizer.
Makes about 16 arancini / Total Time:
Make the Risotto
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan and keep warm.
- Heat the oil in a medium pot or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and Cabernet Sauvignon and keep stirring until the wine evaporates.
- Add ½ cup broth and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Repeat this step until all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. The consistency of the rice should be creamy; if it is sticky or dry, add more water until it is soft and pourable.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the beet purée, vinegar, cheese, and butter. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until cool.
Make the Arancini
- Scoop two tablespoons of the rice mixture and form into a ball. Press a piece of mozzarella into the center. (If the rice is too loose, fold in some breadcrumbs to give it enough body to hold its shape.) Repeat with the remainder of the rice and mozzarella.
- Coat the rice balls in flour, then dip in the egg and coat with breadcrumbs. (At this point, the arancini may be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Heat the oil to 350°F in a large heavy saucepan. Fry the arancini in batches until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to drain.
- Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.
To make beet purée, boil red beets until they are tender. Cool, peel and purée the beets in a food processor or blender, with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil to achieve a smooth consistency