People Are Going Nuts Over Cauliflower Arancini

Riced cauliflower isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have the same texture as white rice, and it doesn’t taste like it either. However, there is an upside to this vegetable substitute. People are raving about cauliflower arancini — a popular white-rice based Italian classic made in an unconventional way. Traditional arancini — “rice balls” — are made by mixing arborio rice with cheese, egg, pancetta and peas with a few seasonings. The mixture is rolled into balls, breaded, and quickly fried. They’re crispy on the outside and crack open to reveal a tender, cheesy, creamy center. The cauliflower version is much more straightforward because you don’t have to make a whole pot of risotto with the arborio rice first. Plus, it has all the great qualities, textures, and flavors of the traditional recipe. The following is a riced cauliflower recipe, which makes 8-10 balls. 

  •  • 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower (12 ounce bag) 
  •  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan 
  •  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella 
  •  • 1 egg 
  •  • ¾ teaspoon salt 
  •  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  •  • Heavy pinch black pepper 
  •  • Heavy pinch of dry basil 
  •  • ¼ cup peas (optional) 
  •  • 2 tablespoons finely crushed Panko  
  •  • ¼ cup plain bread crumbs 
  •  • Oil for frying (Canola, corn, or vegetable oil) 
  • • Heat up the riced cauliflower until it’s cooked and most of the water has evaporated. 
  • • Let cool until it’s still warm but not scorching. 
  • • Add the cheeses and egg while still warm. 
  • • Add the salt, garlic powder, pepper, dry basil, and peas (if using). 
  • • Mix until well combined and then cool in the refrigerator for 20         minutes. 
  • • Put breadcrumbs in a small bowl and roll the cauliflower rice balls in them to coat. 
  • • Place a half an inch of oil in a frying pan and fry 2-3 arancini at a time for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until well browned. 
  • • Blot on a paper towel and place on a wire rack. 
  • • Serve hot.