Recipe: Wild Mushroom Arancini

Wild Mushroom Arancini, Tomato Salad Three Ways, Spiced Tomato Sauce, Vertegrow Micro Cress 

By Baz Nichols, Culinary Consultant, Vertegrow, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire

This is a light, tasty vegetarian recipe, ideal for a summer evening. You can accompany this dish with other salads, fresh bread or any potatoes of your choice to make a much more hearty, robust meal. The Vertegrow micro herbs add a touch of elegance to the finished dish, lifting the colours and enhancing the freshness. 

Ingredients for the Wild Mushroom Arancini – serves 4

  • 150g Mix of Shimeji, Porcini, Shiitake, Oyster Mushrooms
  • 1/2 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove (crushed)
  • 20g Grated Parmesan
  • 300g Risotto Rice
  • 150ml White Wine
  • 750ml Vegetable Stock (2 cubes)
  • 16 Mozzarella Pearls
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 120g Breadcrumbs or Panko

Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying

Method

  • Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic to a pan and cook for 2 minutes until soft
  • Add the risotto rice and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the white wine
  • When the wine has absorbed, add some of the stock, stir and when the rice has absorbed the liquid, add more stock- Continue this process until all the stock has been absorbed
  • Set the risotto to one side to allow it to cool
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan of oil (for deep frying)
  • Lightly fry the wild mushrooms mix for 1 minute then set aside and allow to cool or refrigerate. 
  • Roll the risotto into small balls, about 2cm, then gently push some mushroom mix into the centre of the ball along with a Mozzarella pearl, then roll the ball in your hands until smooth
  • Coat the ball in the flour, then the egg and finally breadcrumbs or panko
  • Follow this process with the remaining risotto until you have made 16 balls
  • Deep fry the Arancini for 5 minutes until golden brown and the breadcrumbs are crispy, then allow them to dry on kitchen towel before serving

For the Spiced Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove , finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
  • 1-2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3-4 Vertegrow Basil leaves
  • Vertegrow Rocket (to your taste) 
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice 

Method

To make the sauce, gently heat the olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and onion, and fry until just coloured. 

Add tomatoes, harissa, sugar and herbs for seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 mins until sauce has thickened. 

Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice for sharpness. Keep warm

For the Tomatoes Three Ways

Cherry / Baby Plum Tomatoes  (3-4 per portion) Cut in half lengthways, season  with a little Blackthorn Salt and ground pepper – set aside to macerate for 10 minutes.

Whole Ripe Tomato (1 per person) – Make a cross in the pit of the tomato. Drop into rapidly boiling water for 10 – 12 seconds. Plunge into ice cold water for 1 minute, then peel away the skin. Quarter each tomato to form 4 ‘petal’ shapes,  and remove the pith and seeds (set these aside for soups etc) . Soak the petals in  olive oil, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper and roast at 150c for around 10 minutes until just soft. Remove from oven, and cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

Whilst you roast these tomatoes at this stage , you can also oil, season and roast a small red  pepper and cut into dice to add richness to this salad. 

Sun-dried Tomatoes – drain oil and cut a small pack of sun-dried tomatoes into small dice, and set aside. 

To Assemble

Arrange a row of 3-4 Arancini in a row on a plate. 

Place the tomato petals between each Arancini, then arrange the Cherry and Sun-dried Tomatoes, and roasted diced Pepper around the central ingredients. 

Drizzle with the Spiced Tomato Sauce, and garnish with Vertegrow Micro Rocket, Micro Chard, and Micro Coriander (alternatively, you can purchase a Vertegrow Salad Mix and choose the herbs you like best) 

Baz Nichols, Culinary Consultant


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