Thursday, February 24, 2011

Planet VeGMeL week (Part 3) - Around the World Vegan Arancini

I love the concept of Keira's Around the World Vegan blog as I thoroughly enjoy exploring food from other countries around the world. Although I have only attempted one of Keira's recipes so far which was home-made cannelloni, it was truly delicious and gave me an introduction and some confidence in pasta making. 

Something that has been on my radar to try for quite some time is making Arancini (Risotto Balls) which Keira recently posted about so this was my selection for Day 3 of Planet VeGMeL week. Initially, my plan was to make a fairly plain risotto in order to keep the rolling simple but I changed my mind and added some home-made pesto for extra flavour and a bit of spinach that needed using up. Rolling the balls was a little time intensive and messy but not beyond me and I knew that cheezly would be popular so I stuffed a little cube inside each ball. The arancini were oven-baked rather than fried as I prefer to use this method wherever possible.

I pondered about what to serve the arancini with, there was something I could remember reading about recently which was a bit like an Italian version of ratatouille with some different ingredients but rather than being a hot dish it was served at room temperature. A quick google search showed that it was Caponata I was thinking of, a Sicilian eggplant salad. After looking at a few recipes that had varying components, I went to my cookbooks and found a recipe in Vegan Planet that I settled upon. There were a few reasons for this choice, the first being that Vegan Planet hasn't had a lot of love recently, the second was that all ingredients could be found at home and finally the recipe sounded like it was a good combination of elements.

The arancini were lovely and crunchy with a delicious centre oozing with cheezly and caponata was the perfect accompaniment. The caponata was made up of onions, garlic, eggplant, red capsicum, tomatoes, red wine vinegar, capers, sugar, parsley and seasoned with salt and pepper. I'm sure I will make both of these dishes in the future so perhaps I'll post a caponata recipe some other time as recipe posting was not supposed to be part of this week.

Day 4 may need to involve something spicy. I think I know what's next on the agenda but I'll keep it quiet for now...

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