SUNDRIED TOMATO & BASIL ARANCINI WITH CAULIFLOWER MASH & BASIL PESTO
Serves: 4 as a starter
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 1L chicken or vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- 15g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 30g sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 250ml arborio rice
- 250ml dry white wine
- 250ml parmesan, finely grated
- Small handful of chopped basil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Oil, for frying
- 1 cup cream,
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 knob butter
- Store-bought or homemade pesto
- Basil leaves for garnish
Place the stock in a pot and bring it to a simmer. Turn the heat down making sure it stays hot throughout the cooking process.
Drizzle some olive oil in a wide pan with the butter over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and sundried tomatoes, with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Saute, stirring often until soft, 6-8 minutes.
Add the auborio rice and saute, stirring using a rubber spatula, until the rice starts look slightly translucent and it starts to crackle, about 2-3 minutes.
Deglaze with the white wine and allow it to simmer until almost completely absorbed.
Now start adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously with the rubber spatula. Only add your next ladle once the previous stock has been completely absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is cooked, but still aldente. Note that you do not want the mixture to be too sloppy and it will need to be shaped into balls.
Stir through the parmesan, basil and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Spread the mixture out onto baking tray and place them in the fridge to cool completely.
Set up your flour in one bowl, eggs in another, and finally the panko in another.
Once the mixture is cool, roll them into even size balls, around the size of golf balls.
Dip the balls into the flour, followed by the egg, then evenly coat with the panko.
Place them back onto a tray and in the fridge.
Heat the oil in a pot to about 180C.
In batches, fry off the arancini until golden and heated through. Drain on paper towel. Serve the hot so the cheese is still gooey. If need be, you can pop them into the oven for a few minutes to finish heating through.
Put the cream, garlic and thyme into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and put aside to steep.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
Blanch the cauliflower until completely soft, then strain.
Strain the cream, discarding the garlic and thyme.
Put the cooking cauliflower and butter into a food processor or blender.
Start blending while adding the infused cream until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Smear the cauliflower puree onto 4 starter plates. Top with the arancini balls, then drizzle over the basil pesto. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Recipes developed and styled thanks to Lisa Clark Food Stylist