These oven-baked vegan rice balls are a healthier twist on the classic Italian arancini recipe.
It's a delicious combo of saffron risotto, low-fat lentil ragù, and crispy panko coating.
Blitz the onion, carrots, garlic, and celery in a food processor.
Then, drain and rinse the canned lentils.
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Sizzle the veggies with oil for 5 minutes. Then add the lentils, tomato passata, a bit of water, and cook the sauce covered for 15 minutes.
Bring the vegetable stock to a soft boil in a pot.
In a skillet, sizzle finely chopped onions with oil for 5 minutes. Then, add the rice and dry toast it for 5 minutes.
Cover the rice with hot stock, simmer, and allow the broth to become absorbed before adding more. After 10 minutes stir in the saffron.
Keep adding the broth and cooking the rice for 8 more minutes until it's firm to the bite and the stock has reduced.
Now, transfer the risotto onto a tray, spread it flat, and leave it cool down in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak the flaxseeds with the given water for 15 minutes.
Spread a handful of risotto flat over your palm, top it with one teaspoon of lentils and wrap the rice around the filling, forming a ball.
Next, dip the rice ball in the flax-egg and then coat it with breadcrumbs.
Place the prepared arancini on a baking tray and bake them for 35 minutes at 220°C (430°F).
Once crispy and golden, transfer the rice balls on a rack and serve warm.