The best vegan arancini recipe

Basil & Sunflower Pesto Arancini Balls - photo credit Mariona Otero

Basil & Sunflower Pesto Arancini Balls – photo credit Mariona Otero

Basil & Sunflower Seed Arancini & Basi Mayo

250g pack of arborio rice
1 medium onion
3 or 4 cloves or more crushed garlic
couple of glasses of white wine
approximately 500ml of veg stock

100ml olive oil
1 good bunch of basil
teaspoon of seasalt

juice of half a lemon
a good hand full of crushed sunflower seeds

1 block of norimu silken tofu

water
cornflour
panko breadcrumbs

Start by fine dicing the onion, take a good sized pan and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, add the onion and gently sauté until soft and beginning to colour. Add a full glass of white wine and let it boil and reduce slightly, now add the rice, let the rice sauté with the onion and wine on a medium to high heat, when the wine has evaporated and the rice is beginning to fry start to add some stock, just 100ml and a little more wine, turn the heat to a low to medium heat, cover and let the rice absorb the stock, keep a close eye on it, give the rice a stir then add another 100ml of the stock. Cover and let the rice absorb each 100ml of stock before adding the next. When finished the rice should be plump and with no liquid left. Spread the rice out on a tray to cool.

Wash and dry the basil, put it in your blender pot with a good 100ml of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, the stick blender will reduce this to oil in a minute. If the oil seems really thick add a little more olive oil, we need enough to turn it through the rice and to flavour the mayonnaise.

Place the cooled rice in a large bowl or pan and using a clean hand fold the rest of the basil oil through the rice, add some crushed sunflower seeds, fresh ground sea salt and black pepper.

Optional additions at this point could be grated vegusto cheese, almond parmesan, fine chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes or other fresh chopped herbs.

Take golf ball sized scoops of rice, squash the rice together in your hand and using both palms roll in to a ball, it takes a little practice, use your fingers to help keep the rice together. I’ve seen arancini served nearly the size of tennis balls, it’s up to you.

Place the panko crumbs in a large bowl or plastic box, drizzle over olive oil while stiring in with a fork, just enough to turn the crumbs oily looking, stir through a little salt.

Put the cornflour in a round bottomed bowl and add water making a non see through milky liquid. Place three or four arancini balls at a time in the cornflour water, gently swirl the bowl around coating the arancini, use your left hand to take the arancini from the water and drop them on to the panko, use your right hand to shake the crumbs over the balls, and your right hand to take them out and place them on a tray ready for the oven, got it? a non messy way to panée food.

To finish, bake the arancini on a high heat, 200c for 7-8 minutes till just golden. Alternatively, arancini can also be deep fried and are often served this way.

For the mayonnaise dip

In another measuring jug or blender pot place the drained silken tofu, lemon juice and 1/3 of the basil oil. Blitz this using the stick blender, adding salt and pepper to taste.

I’m sure this is the nicest non deep fried vegan arancini recipe you’ll find anywhere on the net.

Enjoy!

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