Pesto sunflower seed risotto balls

Jacqueline Alwill

Brown Paper Nutrition

HANDS UP WHO LOVES A RISOTTO????? We LOVE LOVE LOVE a risotto in our house, but I thought on this round I might set some aside and make delicious PESTO SUNFLOWER SEED RISOTTO BALLS (aka arancini). I’ve made these into little flavour bombs by incorporating @rozas.gourmet Traditional Pesto, – rest assured they are next level delicious. To cook these arancini healthiest possible wayI used my air frier (not deep fried as you usually find them) but you could also pop them in the oven and if traditional or panko breadcrumbs aren’t your jam, swap for a gluten free flour and make the final crumb almond meal and it works a treat. Having a scrumptious pesto like @rozas.gourmet on hand in the fridge means we can take a very simple meal and flavour up a notch – there’s also a Roza’s Nut Free Pesto and a Dairy Free one too which is great for anyone with allergies or needing more options! You can find this recipe up on the blog and a range of Roza’s gourmet products (pesto, mayonnaise, dips, dressings, tapenade – you name it!) in Woolies, Harris Farm and premium retail grocers.

+ This is a partnered post with Roza’s Gourmet – all thoughts and opinions expressed are the authors own.

PESTO SUNFLOWER SEED RISOTTO BALLS

Makes 16-20 balls

Vegetarian : Gluten free optional

2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 medium leek, white part only finely chopped

1 1/2 cups (300g) arborio rice

1-1.2l vegetable stock

1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup (125g) Roza’s Gourmet Traditional Pesto

150g spelt or gluten free flour

3 free range eggs, whisked

150g breadcrumbs or almond meal for gluten free option

Spray coconut or extra virgin olive oil.

Heat a large heavy base saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and leek and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes or until leek is translucent. Add arborio rice and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring again so it doesn’t stick. Have vegetable stock in a smaller saucepan on a low heat next to your risotto dish and add one ladle stock at a time, allowing the liquid to absorb before adding the next. Continue stirring. Once the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed remove from heat. (This is slightly different to your usual cooking of risotto where rice will still be al dente with some stock liquid left around the rice for creaminess). Stir through sunflower seeds and Roza’s Gourmet Traditional pesto. Spread risotto into  large container  and allow to cool completely. Measure 2 tablespoons well packed rice, roll into balls, and place on a  plate. Place flour onto a plate, crack eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk, and place bread crumbs or almond meal onto a plate ready to crumb the risotto balls. Roll each ball through the flour to coat well, followed by the egg and the breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat with remaining mixture. Heat oven or air frier to 180C. If baking in oven, place risotto balls on lined baking tray, spray to coat with olive or coconut oil and cook for 20-25 minutes. If placing in air frier, spray the risotto balls with oil whilst on the plate, pop into air frier and cook for 15-20 minutes. Serve with some extra Roza’s Gourmet Traditional Pesto in a small dipping bowl.