Courgette and lemon arancini with deep-fried courgette flowers

Courgette and lemon arancini with deep-fried courgette flowers

Home Comforts
Yuki Sigura

Feed some of the risotto to the kids, then use the cold rice to make arancini later in the evening for the adults. The whole idea is that you only have to cook once to create two meals. It’s not leftovers, it’s two dishes in one.


Quantity Ingredient

For the risotto

Quantity Ingredient
750ml chicken stock
25g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 sprigs thyme, leaves
200g risotto rice
200ml white wine
200g courgettes, cut into 1cm cubes
4 heaped tablespoons grated parmesan, plus more to serve
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the arancini and deep-fried courgette flowers

Quantity Ingredient
flavourless vegetable oil, to deep-fry
50g serrano or parma ham, chopped
4 tablespoons grated parmesan
90g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
75g fresh breadcrumbs
50g cornflour
125ml sparkling water
4 courgette flowers
1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. For the risotto, pour the stock into a saucepan and set it over a medium-low heat. Heat a sauté pan until medium hot, add a knob of the butter, the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes without colour. Tip in the rice and stir well, then pour in the wine and cook until it has reduced to nothing.
  2. Add a couple of ladlefuls of hot stock at a time, simmering and stirring until the rice has absorbed all the stock, then add more. After seven or eight minutes, add the courgettes and continue to cook until all the stock has been used and the rice is tender; it should take 15–18 minutes. Add the parmesan, lemon zest and juice and season to taste. Serve one-third of it now as a risotto (it’s a great meal for kids), with more parmesan. Put the remaining two-thirds on a tray lined with cling film, cover and leave to cool.
  3. Heat a deep fat fryer to 190°C or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy-based sauté pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
  4. Add the chopped ham and parmesan to the cold risotto and mix well, then form into balls, each about the size of a golf ball. Put 40g of the flour, the egg and breadcrumbs separately into three shallow dishes.
  5. Pass the risotto balls through the flour, turning to coat on all sides, then through the beaten egg and finally through the breadcrumbs to coat totally. Carefully lower a batch into the hot fat and fry for two or three minutes until golden and hot through.
  6. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside while you cook the rest – working quickly – in the same way.
  7. For the courgette flowers, put the cornflour, remaining 50g of plain flour and sparkling water into a bowl and whisk quickly to combine to a smooth batter. Add the courgette flowers and gently mix until coated.
  8. Place them into the fat and fry for one or two minutes until golden-brown, then drain on kitchen paper.
  9. Serve the arancini with the courgette flowers, with lemon wedges alongside.


  • Make sure there is plenty of cheese in this as it will melt when cooked. Try stuffing mozzarella inside the arancini, too, before coating and frying.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
comfort food
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