Quinoa Risotto, Arancini with a herbaceous dipping oil

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This recipe was adapted from Hemsley and Hemsley’s, the art of eating well and gives you a great main and canapé. It’s one that I won’t mention to Mr. B’s mum since she is Italian and would not approve of me calling something a risotto not made of rice.

The ‘risotto’ is made from Quinoa, a great protein dense substitute to rich with the added bonus that it cooks quicker also, so no standing about the stove stirring. The leftover risotto also gives you this neat little canapé, which is baked and therefore a healthier version of the authentic Italian Arancini, which is deep-fried and very addictive.

The recipe can be adapted to your taste. The broth can be vegetable or bone broth, the cheese can be taken out and replaced with vegan cream cheese, or bacon can be added, just make sure it is crispy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 250g white Quinoa (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tbsp. white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 700ml vegetable stock (or bone broth)
  • 50g Peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 125g blue cheese (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion and celery for c. 8 minutes, until softened
  • Add the drained Quinoa to the pan, stir and leave for a minute until the Quinoa is almost sticking to the pan
  • Add the white wine or cider vinegar, stir to deglaze the pan of all the sticky bits
  • Pour in most of the broth, turn up the heat to bring t the boil and then turn down to a simmer
  • After 8-10 minutes of cooking the Quinoa should be cooked and tender, add in the peas, they will cook in a few minutes
  • Switch off the heat, stir in the blue cheese, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve half which should be enough for 2 portions and keep the rest to make Arancini

Arancini

Ingredients

  • 40-60g chickpea flour
  • 2 portions of the risotto
  • Mint and parsley oil (see recipe)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/250f
  • Mix the chickpea flour into the leftover risotto and combine well
  • Take 1 tbsp. of risotto and roll into balls, place on the baking tray
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden. Serve with mint and parsley oil for dipping

Mint and Parsley Oil

Ingredients

  • 180ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 30g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 10g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and mull together
  • If you don’t have one, just make sure the herbs are chopped finely and mix together in a bowl
  • Ready to serve with the Arancini or use as a salsa verde
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