Fontina, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Arancini.
I’m giving you a big arancini kiss right now.
In the form of melted cheese surrounded by rice, roasted garlic, most m cheese (because always) and a crispy crunchy coating of breadcrumbs. So we can now declare this the best holiday season ever?
The first time we ever had arancini was at Sal’s in Wildwood, on the way home from a long day at the beach and we were all STARVING. This was yearssss ago and my uncle ended up ordering a lot more than just pizza, so we snacked our way through the restaurant. It was late. I think it was rainy? We were probably all in a wonderful mood after spending 14 straight hours in the hot sun. Not cranky at ALL.
My cousin Lacy became obsessed with the rice balls and ever since, is always on a search for the best. Everywhere we go! Must order rice balls.
Vallozzi’s has TO DIE FOR! arancini and we order it as an appetizer every time we are there. It’s a recent discovery but I’d say we’ve been ordering them for about a year. And wanting to order another plate because they are that good. And we are gluttonous.
It’s what actually what inspired me to make them for the holiday season. And it’s contributing to getting me more into tomato sauce. howwhatwherewhy?!
I added roasted garlic because sometimes I can’t stop adding roasted garlic to things. Occasionally on a Sunday I will roast four or five bulbs of garlic and then everyone better watch out! You’re getting roasted garlic bombed all week.
I want to get roasted garlic wasted.
And we couldn’t JUST have fontina in here, which you may realize now is my go-to cheese for practically, well… everything. I threw in some goat cheese to lighten up the ball, and if you think I sound crazy, you gotta try it. It brings a creamy yet tangy yet fresh and sort of light taste to the whole mess of gooey rice.
Not that I ever make sense.
You can totally add other things in there too, like broccoli or kale or carrots or leeks, and it might come as a shock that I’m going to make a version of these with kale over the holidays
Probably to go with my kale salad, kale smoothie, kale omelet and kale brownies.
No no. Not that last one. I think.
Why does it take me 37 years to get into trends? Like wasn’t kale so super 2012?
I know you’re probably dying to ask if these can be baked (no, no? just me?) and not fried. The answer is yes, but they won’t be exactly the same. The exterior won’t be as crisp, which is one of the best parts. You take a bite and it crunches just a teeny but, right down into a love filled hug of warm risotto and a center of melty cheese.
Why yes, it is basically where I want to live for the next two months.
I really like it for a holiday appetizer or snack, but honestly frying something like this for a party kind of stresses me out and I don’t want to have my entire house smelling of fried oil and pine scented candles mixed together. So! I deem it an excellent meal/snack to eat over the holidays with your friends and family, when there is no worry of being all fancy and frilly and you’re not hosting an event that calls for washing down your baseboards. You know?
There you have it.
If you’ve never tried arancini, please come over immedaitely so we can make a batch and drink a bottle of red. You must be introduced into this lovely crunch ball o’ fun.
And if you are familiar with the cheesy snack, throw some filling ideas my way. Oh and you can also come over. For more red. I have about ten pounds of Christmas cookies for dessert and I kind of love you and will share. Wink wink.
Fontina, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Arancini
- 2 cups cooled risotto
- 1 head garlic
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into cubes
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- marinara sauce for serving
- Note: to cool the risotto quickly, you can make a batch then spread it out on a baking sheet to cool and slightly dry. I’ve done it both ways (the other being to store it overnight in the fridge) and they both work great.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To roast the garlic, slice the top of the head off to expose the cloves. Rub your fingers back and forth on the outside of the bulb to remove the excess paper. Drizzle the top with olive oil and wrap the garlic in foil. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the cloves are caramely and golden. You can do this ahead of time if you wish. Squeeze out the cloves and mash them well with a fork.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cooled rice, roasted garlic, egg, goat cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. Using your hands, form the mixture into 1-inch round balls. Gently push a cube or two of fontina cheese in the center of each ball, make sure to seal it all around. Roll each ball in the remaining bread crumbs and place it on a baking sheet. Once finished, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- While the rice balls are freezing, heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a large pot. You want it to be between 325 and 350 degrees F. Add about 2 to 3 rice balls to the oil at one time, frying until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to remove excess grease. Repeat.
- Serve immediately with grated parmesan and marinara.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Oh the cheese.
37 Comments on “Fontina, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Arancini.”
I have never in my entire life heard of anything like this but they sound amazing! minus the goats cheese as I don’t think it’s something I’d ever eat but wow I have to try these!
I’m glad you wrote a post on them, these could be my new favourites.
Jenna von x
Yes to these and the wine and the cookies!
Me and my eyebrows are terrified of frying – any suggestions for the baking alternative?
i’m so down for the double dose of cheese. these sound like the perfect “i don’t want to brave the cold outdoors at all today” project!
These look TO DIE FOR! I would love to make them, but I have never made risotto in my life! Do you have a previous risotto recipe that I could use as a guide? Or is risotto just cooked rice (probably a dumb question but…. ). Thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!
I have the same question – thanks for asking!
Love Arancini!!! I just made risotto for the first time and it’s time consuming but totally worth it. Pinch of Yum has a spot on recipe for it and I can’t wait to make it again so I can stuff it with cheese and fry it next time! :)
I think you were starting kale recipe around ’09. ….soooo long ago – like shoulja boy era. geez. anyhoo. i’m making these, thanks hun!
That steam and garlic photo …. totally framable! :D
Wow this just made me hungry!
I had these in the form of croquetas recently at a restaurant in Milwaukee! They were ham or mushroom in the cheesy filling and served with a garlic aioli. Sooooo goooood.
P.S. I’d happily come over any day.
¡Fantástica receta! Fácil de elaborar, con buenas fotografías y un resultado final delicioso, me encanta. Muchas gracias por compartirla con todos/as.
this seriously looking super yummy! always in the mood for a bit of cooking
These look so good!! I am always looking for things with goat cheese.. ugh these look to die for!!
Sweet glory. You can give me arancini kisses anytime and all the time.
These look amazing!! I want to try these on Christmas eve :) Thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe!
i’d love to come over. and i’d be delighted if your house smelled of fryer oil if we were eating these together.
if you’re ever back in Jersey and are alittle farther north, you should check out Taste of Italy. I think they have two locations now, but we always go to the one in Tinton Falls.
Get the rice ball. its like as big as your head.
The garlic in there is such a great addition! This sounds awesome!
There is an arancini truck called Have a Ball NYC that was parked outside Stony Creek Brewery this past summer and my boyfriend and I shared two of their balls (tmi?). One was the traditional Italian cheese ball with meat sauce (AMAZING) and another one was stuffed with cheddar and pulled pork, which was also delicious. Do yourself a favor and make both.
See their menu for more amazing ideas here: http://haveaballnyc.com/menu. ;o)
So… Um… If I was gonna bake these, at what temp and for how long?
These look delicious! I’m going to have to try them soon!
These just got pinned because I am positive that I need them in my life!
Holy….these look absolutely amazing.
If I lived closer, I would be knocking on your door right about now. Never mind that it’s not even 9am; doesn’t matter when these look as good as they do!
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I just read this. Can I still come over? I will bring an extra bottle of red to make up for you probably already being out of Christmas cookies. One to drink while we cook, and one to drink while we eat.
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Made risotto the other night. We are just two, and risotto makes too much and is never as good the second day. Saw this recipe. Heard of arancini but never had them. No words. So good. Can’t wait to make too
much risotto again :) I am in your debt for bringing this to my attention. THANK YOU!
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These look delicious! Is there a way to make these ahead of time and reheat them or keep them warm in a crockpot?
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