Arancini are little fried rice balls typically stuffed with cheese and meat. This traditional Italian food is usually made with white rice, but our Label Content Manager, Michelle (who also writes the beautiful blog Je Mange la Ville) came up with this version using millet for a delectable whole grain treat. Arancini take a little time, but these are worth every minute! Delight your special someone (or someones) on Valentine’s Day by serving these with a green salad and a wholesome soup. (If millet is hard to come by, try our version using Steel Cut Oats.)
Spinach and Lemon Millet Arancini
(makes 10-12 golf ball-sized arancini)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small Shallot, finely diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ cup Millet
- ¼ cup White Wine
- ¼ cup frozen Spinach
- ½ tsp Lemon Zest
- 1-3/4 cup low-sodium Vegetable Broth
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Egg, separated
- 10-12 small cubes (about ¼-square inch each) fresh Mozzarella
- ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup Italian Herb Breadcrumbs
Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté shallot and garlic over medium heat, until soft and starting to color, about 5 minutes. Add the millet and toast for 2-3 minutes.
Add the wine, spinach, lemon zest and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed and millet is soft and a bit creamy, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
Add egg yolk to cooled millet mixture and using a small ice cream scoop, scoop some millet into your hand. Add a small cube of mozzarella to the center, rolling the millet around the cheese to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining millet.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Have flour, bread crumbs and whisked egg white set out in bowls, with a parchment-lined, non stick spray-coated baking sheet nearby. Roll each arancini in the flour, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs. Set on the baking sheet and repeat with each arancini. Spray arancini with non-stick, olive oil spray.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Cool 1-2 minutes before serving.
Deep Fry Option: Add about 3 inches of vegetable or peanut oil in a large pan with tall sides. Heat oil to 350°F. Fry arancini until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Let cool briefly (about 2 minutes) before serving.