Lemon Risotto Balls with Edible Flower Confetti

meyer lemon arancini, lemon rice balls, ciao fiore appetizer

Meyer Lemon Risotto Balls with Parmesan and Mascarpone
Edible Flower Confetti

Crispy on the outside – warm, creamy, cheesy, and lemony on the inside – these little risotto balls (arancini in Italian) are simply irresistible. And if the texture and flavor aren’t enough to make you swoon, I’m dressing them up with pretty flower petal confetti and lacy Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve them with your favorite Italian white wine and enjoy happy hour!

Meyer Lemon Risotto Recipe

meyer lemon zestIngredients:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. finely diced shallot
  • 1/2 c. pinot grigio
  • 1 1/2 c. arborio rice
  • 4 c. chicken broth + 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. parmesan + more for garnish
  • 1/2 c. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 meyer lemon (zest and juice)
  • salt to taste

how to make creamy risottoMethod:

Bring chicken broth plus water to a simmer. (I use diluted broth to give flavor, but not overpower the delicate citrus aromas). Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook until a light golden color. Add rice and stir to coat all the grains. Add wine and cook until almost completely evaporated. Then turn down the heat and add the broth, one ladle at a time, constantly stirring as the rice absorbs the liquid.

When the rice is creamy and al dente, remove from heat. Fold in the cheeses. Then fold in the lemon zest and juice, reserving some zest and Parmesan for garnish.

Enjoy risotto at dinner and be sure to save the leftovers to make arancini the next day.

Lemon Risotto Balls Recipe

frying arancini

Roll cold, day-old, leftover risotto into golfball-sized balls. Coat with panko bread crumbs. Roll the ball between the palms again, smoothing and pressing the bread crumbs into the rice ball.

hot arancini

Carefully drop rice balls into hot canola oil. Cook until golden brown, then turn and cook until golden on the other side. The exterior should be crunchy while the interior is hot and creamy. Remove to paper towels. Season with fine sea salt.

Meanwhile, pull petals from clean dry edible violas and geraniums.

how to make flower petal confetti

Chop flower petals with a very sharp knife into confetti.

flower petal confetti

Finely grate ParmigianoReggiano over slightly cooled arancini.

best arancini ever

Then sprinkle with flower petal confetti.

fried rice balls, flower confetti, how to make best arancini

Food Network



Sensational Sides is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite side dishes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board with over 290,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair!

And if my Lemon Risotto Balls got you in the mood for more cheese, you might enjoy taking a peek at other cheesy recipes from some fabulous bloggers below…

The Lemon Bowl: Spelt Salad with Apples, Cheddar and Scallions
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole with Bacon and Caramelized Onions {Low Carb}
Creative Culinary: Cilantro Serrano Rice
Virtually Homemade: Stove Top Mac and Cheese with Apples and Bacon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Mary Lane’s Pasta With Pesto Tomato Sauce
Red or Green: Cheesy Polenta with Spicy Leeks
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Cheesy Beer Bread with Quinoa, Millet and Jalapeño Peppers
Homemade Delish: Cheesy Zucchini and Summer Squash
Daisy at Home: Bell Pepper Pizza
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Indian Cottage Cheese & Bell Pepper Quick Stir-Fry
Swing Eats: Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers (gluten-free)
The Mom 100: Leek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche
FN Dish: 6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese

7 thoughts on “Lemon Risotto Balls with Edible Flower Confetti”

  1. Arancini are popular with quite a number of us but I have never seen them presented as beautifully as this :)!

  2. You are such a master at presentation, and this proves it once again. Aside the wonderful flavor of those risotto balls, they are beautiful to behold. I remember when you made that flower confetti before, and I took your cue and used it to sprinkle on some sorbet. I may try it again soon.

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