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Tim Slater’s Arancini and Greenhouse Pesto


This canape honours our six-week herb and salad exam using the ingredient­s fresh from the glasshouse to make a tasty pesto to top the arancini made from the Ballymaloe Cookery School Risotto ala Parmigiana. It makes an excellent late autumn pesto to use when the basil is no longer available and an interestin­g alternativ­e to basil pesto.

Makes around 60 canape-sized arancini Glasshouse Presto

30g rocket leaves 20g coriander leaves and fine stalks 10g chives 50g Parmesan cheese finely grated 1 clove garlic 50g lightly toasted cashew nuts, chopped 125g- 175g extra virgin olive oil

2tsp lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Arancini

Cold risotto

Seasoned flour

Whisked egg

Fine breadcrumb­s

The previous day, make the Ballymaloe Cookery School Risotto ala parmigiana (see recipe on right) and, once cooked, spread thinly onto a baking tray and chill overnight.

The following day make the glasshouse pesto.

To make the Glasshouse Presto

Toast the cashew nuts in a moderate oven, 180C, until lightly golden (around 10 minutes). Allow to cool.

Finely grate the Parmesan and set aside.

Put the rocket, coriander, chives, garlic, chopped roasted cashew nuts and 125g of extra virgin olive oil into a food processor and blitz to a fine paste. Add more olive oil if the mixture is dry.

Fold in the Parmesan cheese and 1tsp of lemon juice.

Season with sea salt, pepper and additional lemon juice as required. Add further extra virgin olive oil, if needed to get the correct consistenc­y. The pesto will need to sit on top of the arancini so shouldn’t be too runny.

To make the Arancini

Next shape the arancini balls. Take 15g of the cooled risotto and shape into walnut sized balls. Slightly flatten the ball (to create a flat surface for the pesto to sit). Coat in flour then beaten egg (shaking off the excess) and finally the breadcrumb­s. Ensure that the arancini are well covered in the breadcrumb­s (do not be tempted to double pane as the crumb will be too thick).

Deep fry the arancini in vegetable or olive oil at 170C for about three minutes until golden brown. Drain excess oil and top each one with a little blob of pesto. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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