Impress your picnic buddies or your littlest loves with these delicious oven-baked mushroom and spinach arancini balls.
While risotto balls could be considered a labour of love, you will be sure to charm and delight with these bite-sized morsels. Take these along to your next spring picnic and you certainly won't be bringing any home with you!
To make these arancini balls, you firstly have to make the risotto – you can either make them from scratch each time, or whip them up using leftover risotto. They're filled with a delicious mozzarella cheese and dipped and rolled in a crunchy panko breadcrumb.
Our oven-baked risotto balls are a little healthier than the deep-fried alternative, making them the ultimate snack or meal for kids.
Makes 20 balls
Mushroom and spinach risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- half a brown onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 350 g (2 cups) arborio rice
- 875 ml (3 ½ cups) water
- 3 tbsp vegetable stock concentrate
- 250 g (1 punnet) mushrooms, diced
- 70 g (2 cups) spinach, roughly chopped
- handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a large oven-proof saucepan then add onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add Arborio rice and stir for a minute.
- Pour in the water and add stock concentrate and stir to combine.
- Allow liquid to come to the boil then add mushrooms.
- Stir to combine before putting the lid on the pan and placing in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add in parsley and spinach, stirring through gently to combine.
- Put the lid back on and allow the spinach to steam in the risotto for a few minutes before serving.
- mushroom and spinach risotto, cooked and chilled (see recipe above)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 60 g (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
- 100 g (1 1/2 cup) panko breadcrumbs
- 100 g (2/3 cup) mozzarella, cut into cubes
- Roll risotto into balls using 1/3 cup scoopfuls and place on baking tray.
- Place in freezer for 10 minutes as this makes the balls easier to work with.
- Preheat oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place flour in a dish, beaten egg in another, and the breadcrumbs on a flat plate.
- Remove from freezer and using the end of a spoon, make a hole in the middle of each ball and place a cube of mozzarella inside, molding the risotto around it again.
- Roll each ball into the flour then dip into the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs.
- Place on baking tray and cook in oven for approximately 25 minutes or until golden and heated through. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Arancini balls can be frozen for 1-2 months. Prepare the recipe as directed but do not bake the balls. Instead, place the balls on the lined baking tray then place in the freezer. When the balls are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or ziplock bag. When needed, allow the arancini balls to defrost completely then place them back on a baking sheet and bake as directed.
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