How to make risotto balls

Warm days demand more time outside and less time in front of the stove. Heard of arancini? Well, it could be the answer to your easy entertaining party questions. Here’s how to make these little risotto balls with a cheesy filling – add them to your meze platter and just watch they don’t get devoured by your family before they make it to the party table.


Ingredients (serve 8-10 as a crowd with a few other snacks):

10g dried porcini mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup risotto rice
200ml white wine
400ml vegetable stock
80g grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese
1 extra large or 2 medium eggs
2 handfuls homemade breadcrumbs


1. Soak the mushrooms in 100ml of hot stock and leave for 10–15 minutes.
2. Fry the onion in a saucepan until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and risotto rice and stir for a minute. Add the white wine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the stock, mushroom mixture and cook for another 15–20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
4. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and egg.
5. When cool enough to handle, season to taste and roll into little balls. Roll in breadcrumbs to coat, then place on a lined baking tray.
6. Just before serving, pop into the oven for 10–12 minutes to crisp up.

Easy entertaining

Serve with tomato sauce or sweet chilli sauce and watch your guests ooh and aah at this novel little meze companion.

With thanks to Jules Mercer for her beautiful recipes and styling.