Cauliflower is sometimes an overlooked vegetable, but it’s an amazingly versatile ingredient that adds depth and nutrition to many dishes — particularly vegan recipes. We’ve made lots of vegan meals with cauliflower at the forefront, including cauliflower tacos, cauliflower risotto and cauliflower buffalo wings. Next we’re adding cauliflower arancini (risotto balls) to our collection of cauliflower recipes. These vegan cauliflower arancini are creamy and full of flavour with a delicate crispy crust. Serve them with your favourite marinara or homemade pesto for a satisfying snack.
Makes: 24 balls
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Dairy-free Cheese Sauce:
½ cup raw whole cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours minimum)
¾ cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons tapioca starch (or substitute cornstarch)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ground flax (or ground chia seeds)
3 tablespoons water
5 cups cauliflower florets (approximately ½ a head of cauliflower)
2 garlic cloves
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
Extra: 3-4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1. Whisk together ground flax with water and refrigerate for 10 minutes to set and thicken.
2. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor with garlic cloves until it becomes the texture of rice. Add the cauliflower rice to a large mixing bowl.
3. In another mixing bowl combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, basil, sea salt, and ground pepper.
4. Drain raw cashews from the soaking water and rinse under fresh water. Drain and add to a high-powered blender with the remaining cheese sauce ingredients and blend until very smooth.
5. Heat the cheese sauce in a saucepan over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly, until it thickens.
6. Add the cheese sauce to the cauliflower rice mixture, along with the thickened flax mixture, and 1 1/2 cups of the breadcrumb mixture and stir to combine well.
7. Heat vegetable oil in a pot until it reaches approximately 375 F.
8. While oil is heating form the risotto balls use a scant ¼ cup of the mixture to form 1 1/2“ balls with your hands. Then coat well in the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Set aside each ball onto a plate or baking sheet.
9. Place 3-4 balls in the hot frying oil and fry for approximately 1 ½-2 minutes each batch until the breadcrumb coating is golden brown. Remove each ball from the oil with a slotted fryer spoon and set onto paper towel. Continue until all the arancini are fried.
10. Warm up your dipping sauce while you’re frying and serve immediately.