Saturday, 17 April 2010

Taleggio Arancini with Rocket and Walnut Salad

 I had an old school friend coming over for dinner and I fancied trying something new. I wanted something that I could make in advance (if you make the arancini up to covering with breadcrumbs, you can keep them in the fridge until you’re ready) so I could spend most of the evening chatting with her rather than slaving over a hot stove.

I first had arancini many years ago at my aunt's house in Rome. She had bought them from a local deli up the road, and I instantly fell in love. These are slightly different as I recall the original were longer and thinner, had anchovies in them and used mozzarella instead of taleggio, but they make a delicious subsitute.

For the Arancini (makes about 10):

1 litre chicken stock
40g butter
Olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
400g risotto rice
150ml white wine
2tsp dried mixed herbs
100g grated parmesan
3 eggs, beaten
150g dried breadcrumbs
200g Taleggio cheese

For the salad:
4tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ tsp sugar
200 french beans
200g rocket
Handful of toasted walnuts

Heat the butter and a little oil in a large frying pan and add the onions and mixed herbs. Fry until translucent, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Fry for a further minute, then add the risotto and fry for a couple of minutes, until the edges of the rice turn translucent. Add the wine and about a quarter of the stock, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. Gradually add the rest of the stock until it’s all been absorbed, add the parmesan just before the end, and then turn off the heat and set aside for a couple of hours to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, beat the eggs and place the breadcrumbs on a plate. Using your hands, make tennis-ball sized balls of risotto, building half in your hand, adding the taleggio, covering and moulding to shape. Then dip in the egg and roll in the breadcrumbs. Be careful, as the balls are quite fragile!

Shallow fry the balls in olive oil, three at a time until golden all over. Place on a lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the arancini are in the oven, prepare your vinaigrette, mixing the oil, shallot, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and put the beans on to boil for about 4 minutes. Drain and refresh in icy cold water. Toss with the rocket, pour over the dressing and sprinkle over the walnuts. Place the arancini on top to serve (1-2 per person is masses).


  1. Will certainly give this a try - have always wanted to know how to cook these - many thanks Crumbs for Dinner

  2. Now this sounds delicious (minus sweaty feet cheese)