I was wondering around the lovely ‘Real Food Market‘ at the Southbank on Bank holiday Monday and was drawn to the Arancini Bros stall. Arancini balls originate from Sicily and are fried risotto balls. Some brave man was about to embark on eating the colossal ‘Big Bad Wrap'; eight arancini squashed into a wheat wrap filled with an interesting mix of bright and vibrant salads (marinated apple, fried onions, jalapenos for example), topped with homemade chilli chutney and garlic mayo.
I didn’t hang around to see the after affect; I’m scarred for life after watching someone attempt and fail the triple chilli challenge at the legendary meateasy (chilli dog, chilli chips and a chilli cheeseburger in under 4 minutes= MEATSWEATS). After a giggle with the lovely guys behind the stall and a piping hot enticing sample, I went home with 12 frozen Arancini balls, cooking instructions as below!
I’m not a fan of deep frying things but was keen to achieve the crispy exterior and oozy insides of the arancini deep fried I had tasted at the stall. I went for a light fry, with about 3 tbsps of vege oil (for 12 balls) and a really really hot pan and somehow I got exactly the right outcome.
The outside was crunchy as if it had a coat of polenta, and the inside had retained a risotto bite but with strings of satisfying mozzarella. Fresh herbs were bursting out of each one and there was a heat and warmth from what tasted like cracked black pepper and a sweetness from onions. They were utterly delicious.
To make them into a meal, I thought they needed something light, zingy and green so I served them with griddled courgettes and a green sauce, adapted from the Leon cookbook:
The recipe for the sauce is simply the following ingredients buzzed up together:
- A handful of fresh mint, parsley, basil and coriander
- 2 tsps of dijon mustard
- 1 tsp of capers
- Juice of half a lemon
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper
The arancini could definitely hack the robust flavour of the sauce. Serving them this way could be something to consider on the stall, whereas the wrap looked brilliant, it would be great to have them dished up with healthy and summery sides.