These deep-fried rice balls make a tasty snack or starter and are also a great to use up leftover risotto.
50g/2oz unsalted butter
450g/1lb arborio rice
splash white wine
2 litres/3½pints warm vegetable stock
100g/3½oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten
plain flour, for dusting
1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the tapenade, blend all of the ingredients except for the mayonnaise together until smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise.
For the arancini, melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat. When the rice starts to become a little translucent around the edges, add the wine and cook for another minute.
Add a ladleful of warm stock and stir well. When the stock has almost been absorbed, add another ladleful. Continue adding more stock until it has all been added and the rice is cooked.
Fold in the sun-dried tomatoes and spring onion and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool.
Beat the egg in a bowl, sprinkle the flour onto a plate.
Roll the rice into small balls, then dip into the beaten egg and dredge in the flour.
Half-fill a deep, heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil and heat to 170C/325F (check using a digital thermometer). (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended).
Deep-fry the arancini for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
Serve the arancini with the tapenade.
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