Sweet Pea 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 carrot vinaigrette:
- In a small saucepan, simmer the carrot juice over medium heat until reduced to about ¼ cup, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the juice to a blender and add the vinegar, ginger, mustard, and salt. Blend on high speed to combine.
- With the motor running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, blending until emulsified. (The vinaigrette can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
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, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and Sauvignon Blanc and keep stirring until all of the wine evaporates.
- Add ½ cup of broth and stir constantly until the broth is absorbed by 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.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the pea purée, sour cream, cheese, and lemon zest. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until cool.
Make the arancini:
- Scoop two tablespoons of the rice mixture, form into a ball and 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 3-5 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to drain.
- To serve, pour the carrot vinaigrette onto a plate and place each arancini on top of the vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.
To make pea puree, add 8 ounces fresh English peas to salted boiling water and boil until tender. Drain and immediately submerge the peas in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and transfer to a food processor. Process with 1 to 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil to achieve a smooth consistency.
This recipe yields about 1 cup carrot vinaigrette. Use any leftover vinaigrette to dress a salad or to drizzle over vegetables or fish.