Is it just me… or are there Arancini balls on the menu of most trendy restaurants at the moment? These are the traditional “fast food” of Sicily and are made from a ball of cooked rice with a centre of meat or cheese, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. I had a delicious vegetarian version while visiting Brisbane last weekend but when I got home I knew I could do better and created this healthy, oven baked, version.
Arancini balls are perfect for a lunch with friends. A simple dressed salad makes a perfect accompaniment. They are also a handy lunchbox filler and can be served either hot or cold. Fresh and hot out of the oven is my preference!
- 5 cups soft cooked brown rice
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 leek
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 400g button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- olive oil
- Cook the rice as per the packet instructions.
- Slice the leek in half lengthways and wash thoroughly between the layers.
- Slice thinly and then chop finely.
- Sauté in a pan with the coconut oil over a low heat for 20 minutes until soft.
- Using a micro plane zest the lemon zest into the pan and stir for a minute.
- Spoon the leeks and zest mix into a bowl and set aside.
- Grate the mushrooms (the easiest way is to use the grating attachment for the food processor) and sauté in the same pan for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Combine the cooked rice, cooked leeks and mushrooms along with the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, lemon juice and parsley in a large bowl then set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160degC.
- Oil a baking tray covered with baking papers.
- Spread the sesame seeds out on a dinner plate.
- Roll the rice mixture into fist sized balls with your hands.
- Then roll each ball in the seeds before placing them evenly on the oiled try.
- Brush each with a very small amount of olive oil and bake in the oven for 45min -1 hour until crunchy on the outside.
- This recipe makes 10-12 Arancini Balls
- You can use white rice if you prefer and include ricotta or mozzarella in the centre when forming the balls.
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