Beet and Goat Cheese Arancini

14 Mar

I always have a tough time judging exactly how many servings a risotto recipe is going to make, because the rice expands so much while it’s being slowly simmered and stirred in fragrant broth.  I’ve made it enough times (and recorded my recipes since I, you know, write a food blog) that I should know, but I often have small amounts of leftovers and I can never remember how much.  I don’t have an awesome memory.  I intentionally made a little bit too much this time, though, because I was craving some arancini – balls or patties of risotto coated in bread crumbs and fried.

You can serve these cheesy, crunchy, creamy patties of pan-fried beet, risotto, and goat cheese goodness in one of two ways.  As-is, perhaps with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt for serving, or as a burger patty, topped with whatever you want (Zak used some avocado and plain Greek yogurt).  Either way, they are colorful, flavorful, and relatively healthy.  They make for a yummy appetizer in their naked form and a hearty sandwich swaddled in a bun.

Just a warning – these are a tad messy to make, so if you have some gloves, I suggest you wear them.  Otherwise, your hands will likely end up stained a pretty gruesome shade of red.

Beet and Goat Cheese Arancini

2 1/2 cups leftover roasted beet risotto (let sit at least overnight)

2 eggs, beaten, divided

3-4 tbs. goat cheese

3-4 slices whole wheat bread (yield about 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

2 tsp. canola

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbs. canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a food processor, combine slices of bread, garlic powder, parsley, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Pulse until bread crumbs are formed.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine risotto, and 1 egg, beaten.  Mix together thoroughly.  Form into patties roughly 3 inches across and 1 inch thick (about 1/4 cup of risotto).  Using your thumb, create a deep indentation in the middle of each patty, spooning about 1 tsp. of goat cheese into each indentation. Top the goat cheese with another 1 tbs. or so of leftover risotto/egg mixture.

Place flour in a shallow dish.  Place remaining beaten egg in a second shallow dish.  Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.  Coat each patty with flour, followed by egg, followed by bread crumbs.

Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Pan fry risotto patties until deep golden brown and cheese is warmed through, roughly 4-5 minutes per side.

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