Thursday, 25 October 2012

Beetroot Arancini with Goat's Cheese

Beetroot Arancini with Goat's Cheese
Arancini are deep-fried Sicilian risotto balls and I'm really pleased with how these turned. These are also great for a picnic, especially if you make them slightly bigger and put a piece of goat's cheese in the middle. Posh veggie scotch eggs, innit. Follow the recipe for beetroot risotto, but double the quantities and make this the next day with the leftovers. I'm not going to lie – they are a faff (and your hands will be a bright shade of red for about a week), but utterly worth the effort.
Makes 12-16

half of the beetroot risotto
3 eggs
vegetable oil

1. Take tablespoon amounts of the risotto and roll into a ball. Cover in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on a plate ready for frying. Repeat until you have the number you desire.
2. If you are making large arancini, use more risotto and make a cavity in the middle to place a piece of goat's cheese before sealing with rice. For small arancini, melt goat's cheese over the top once cooked.
3. When ready to cook, heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to 170C and fry until golden brown and piping hot.

Beetroot Risotto

Beetroot Risotto
Bored of boring old risotto? Liven it up with an amazing burst of colour and the pungent, earthy flavour of beetroot. Serves 4.


Beetroot Purée
3 small to medium beetroot
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Scrub beetroot thoroughly to get rid of any dirt. Top and tail each and place in a roasting dish. Drizzle with a little oil and roast until tender – around 45-60mins.
3. Allow to cool slightly, peel and place in a food processor. Drizzle in a little olive oil while processing until it forms a smooth purée. Season and set aside.

1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
250g Arborio rice
2 sprigs fresh thyme
150ml red wine
1 litre vegetable, heated and kept warm
250g parmasan, grated
50g butter

1. Sauté onion in a couple glugs of olive oil until softened. Add garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes.
2. Add rice and thyme and stir for a minute until the rice is sealed. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan. Once wine is absorbed add a ladleful of stock to the rice. Continue stirring until absorbed.
3. Continue doing this until rice is cooked al dente. Add parmesan cheese and butter and stir through. Rice should be slightly wet, but creamy and glossy.
4. Add beetroot purée a tablespoon at a time, to your tastes. It is a strong flavour so make sure you taste after each addition.