This is a cross between the Italian arancini (fried rice ball) and a meatfree version of the British Scotch egg. It came about when a friend gave me some eggs from her prolific hens and I had some leftover risotto in the fridge that needed eating up. This marriage of dishes was pure guesswork, but I’m pleased to say that it’s a happy union!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
5 eggs (1 lightly beaten)
3 tbsp finely grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese
375g/13oz leftover risotto
75g/2½oz/1¼ cups day-old breadcrumbs
4 tbsp plain flour
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put 4 of the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down slightly and gently boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Drain the eggs, cool under cold running water, then peel.
Meanwhile, stir the Parmesan into the risotto rice and season with salt and pepper. Beat the remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Tip the breadcrumbs and flour into two separate shallow bowls.
Take a quarter of the risotto mixture and press it out in an even layer in the palm of your hand. Lightly dust one of the eggs in the flour, then put it in the centre of the risotto. Wrap the risotto around the egg in an even layer and press the edges together to make a ball. Dust the wrapped egg in the flour and pat away any excess, then dip into the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat to make 4 balls in total.
Heat enough oil in a deep pan to deep-fry the arancini eggs. (It is hot enough when a small piece of bread turns golden and crisp in 30 seconds.) Deep-fry 2 eggs at a time for 4–5 minutes, turning them occasionally until golden and crisp all over. Drain on kitchen paper, and repeat to cook the remaining eggs. Serve warm.
Watkins Media, 2014