Beet and Tarragon Arancini
These Beet and Tarragon Arancini take a little bit of work, but are SO worth it! Earthy, sweet beets are combined with fresh tarragon to make a dreamy, creamy risotto and then it gets mixed with some bread crumbs and walnuts, formed into balls & then stuffed with mozzarella cheese. The whole lot is fried and what you are left with is basically a perfect little crispy bite oozing with deliciousness. You know you want it 😉
Hey guys! How’s it going? How was your weekend? Hubby and I had a great one, mostly because it was filled with good food. HA! Me and my food 😀 So, anyway, I get this message from hubby the other day and he told me that he had a great idea for something that he wanted to make, one of which was homemade ravioli. So Saturday, he made his own pasta and composed the best ravioli that this chicka has ever stuffed into her pinhole. You many have see the video I posted on my Instagram if ya follow me there. It was deadly; they were stuffed with sautéed arugula, mushrooms, shallot, garlic, pinch of chili and goat cheese. I mean, c’mon, right?? Now, I’m seriously starting to question who should have a food blog ? Hubby, if you are reading this…more ravioli pleeeeeease!!
Speaking of this weekend, a bunch of new shows started up. One of which was Son of Zorn. Ok, I’m gonna be upfront here; I had absolutely no desire to watch this show; I think I may just have watched it in exchange for those ravioli that hubby made, lol 😀 So, hubby, this is all on you. It’s basically a regular sitcom show with a cartoon figure inserted in there. Let’s backtrack a little, shall we? Set the scene. Sunday night, hubby and I in comfy clothes watching tv. Hubby gets off the sofa to let the furry child out and stumbles ’cause his legs were cramped, legs kinda stiff….’why do we have to get old?’ he says. I say, ‘we all get old, but we don’t have to grow up. You know what they say, growing old is a privilege.’ So, hubby turns to me and says(with a sarcastic pause) ‘you know who says that?
Stupid old people.’ Whatevs ?
I’m old enough now that I don’t really care about the whole getting older thing. Ok, ok….I do love my lotions and potions, ain’t gonna deny that one?? Moving on…. I loved when I turned 30. Ok, I didn’t mind. Some people are freaked out. I wasn’t one of those people. I was like, ‘ok, I got this.’ Now, I’m approaching
my forties the north end of my 30’s and I still feel the same. I still wear my stupid funny t-shirts on the weekend and let’s not forget the silly socks. That’s how I roll. That’s me to the core. I’m just goofy and maybe it’s not at all about an ‘age thing’. Age is just a number, after all 😉 Yeah. I’m comfortable with who I am and I love it. I wouldn’t ask for anything more and wouldn’t change a thing. And that’s pretty good if you ask me! And you know what? Son of Zorn was pretty darn good ?
This recipe today is like a two in one – you’re welcome 😉 First you make the risotto component and then you make the Beet and Tarragon Arancini. So, what the heck is ‘arancini’ you ask…well, they are basically fried rice balls coated with bread crumbs and typically stuffed with cheese. I know, right?!
I used the whole recipe from the risotto to make the arancini. But, if you are so inclined, may I suggest that you have a delicious meal one day with the risotto and use the leftovers for the arancini (for half of the quantity listed here). Bit of work, but you get two meals. Not too bad of a trade off, is it?
So, let me tell you about this Beet and Tarragon Arancini – I got it from my momma<—those beets, that is…hehehe. The beautiful bright purple beets were dragged straight from the ground in my mother’s garden. And the tarragon and onion used? Right from my and hubby’s garden. How cool is that? So, I guess this makes this recipe extra special. Nothing like homegrown, is there?The season is pretty much coming to a close for this year and soon enough there will be snow on the ground. Gotta enjoy the fresh local produce while we can!
These Beet and Tarragon Arancini can be served as part of a multi-course meal and would make the perfect appetizer. Though, they would be just as delicious as a main with a simple green salad with balsamic vinegar. Or, have an open mind here, how about with a poached egg for brekky? Now, that would be AWESOME!
I know that you guys are just gonna love the flavour of these, but we just stop for a hot minute and talk about the colour? They say we eat with our eyes first and the colour of these arancini is just gorgeous, isn’t it??
To me, these Beet and Tarragon Arancini are just simple comfort food fancied up a bit. If you were preparing these for a dinner party, I would suggest simply roasting the beets and making the risotto the day before. Heck, you can even prepare the arancini the day before right up until the fry stage. Then, it’s just fry them and you’re done! I made these on a cold and rainy day. I suggest you do the same. And perhaps some of that wine for the risotto will make its way into your glass?. After all, quality control, right 😉 ?
Until next time, my friends, take care and chit chat again soon 🙂
Beet & Tarragon Arancini
- 2-3 beets -enough to have about 1 cup pureed
- 4-6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 tsp olive oil -divided
- 1 tsp salt -divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper -divided
- 1 onion -minced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon -roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese -grated
- 4 cups risotto -leftover & cooled
- 3.5 cups bread crumbs -divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- 1 cup walnuts -or pecans
- 15-20 mini bocconcini (halved) -or about 150g mozzarella or fontina
- vegetable oil -enough to come up about 1 inch or so of pot
For the Beets
- Scrub clean the beets. Drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for about 75 minutes on 375 F. Carefully upwrap foil (there will be steam) and let cool about 15 minutes.
- Peel off outer skin of beets. Process in a mini food processor until smooth. You want about 1 cup (approx.)
For the Risotto
- In a small pot, add vegetable stock and heat on low just to keep warm.
- In a large saute pan on medium low heat, add 3 tsp of olive oil. Sautee onion until translucent, about 5 minutes (don't brown). To this add rice. Stir to combine. Cook about 2 minutes (don't brown rice).
- Add wine to rice mixture and cook until mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Add a couple of ladles of stock at a time to rice mixture, simmering until stock is mostly absorbed. Then add another 2 ladles. Continue this process until the rice starts to release its starch, gets creamy and rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. You will use about 4-6 cups of stock.
- Season with the remaining 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper and 1 tbsp. of tarragon. Add reserved pureed beet mixture to rice and stir to combine.
- Off heat, add 1 tbsp. of butter and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. If you were eating this right now, serve immediately in warmed dishes and garnish with extra tarragon and parm. If proceeding with arancini, let cool completely.
For the Arancini
- In a large bowl combine risotto, 1.5 cups of breadcrumbs, eggs and nuts. Stir to combine all ingredients. For the remaining breadcrumbs place in a bowl for later use.
- Form mixture into balls. Take about a tablespoon and half or so of the mixture in your hand and place a piece of cheese in the centre. Roll into ball, ensuring cheese is encased. Roll balls in reserved breadcrumbs. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Note - it helps if your hands are damp with a touch of water so the rice doesn't stick too much to your hands.
- Place balls uncovered in fridge for about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove. On stovetop in a heavy duty high sided post, carefully heat vegetable oil to 350F. The oil should come up just about an inch up the sides of the pot.
- Working in batches of about 5-6 balls (don't overcrowd pot), cook balls in about 3-5 minutes total, turning to brown all sides. Carefully remove balls from oil with slotted spoon. Place on a brown paper lined tray to remove excess oil.
- Preheat oven to 200F and place balls on a tray to keep warm as you are cooking your batches. Serve immediately. Enjoy!