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This tasty recipe was developed for us by Suzie of Just Crumbs!

To make this Italian-inspired snack you first need to make a simple risotto, then use the risotto to make asparagus-filled breaded rice balls. It sounds like a labour of love, but in reality it’s very simple and brings a spring spin, not to mention a hearty does of colour and nutrition, to the table. Your friends and family are sure to swoon over these, which is reason enough to give this recipe a try!

Asparagus Arancini
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  • 1lb. Ontario asparagus
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium Ontario onion, diced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 200 ml white wine
  • ½ cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 1-inch squares mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Olive oil, for roasting


  1. Wash and dry asparagus; divide into two. Finely chop one half into small pieces (1/2 – 1 cm) and set the other half of the asparagus to the side.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil and cook the chopped asparagus for about 2 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pot and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the rice and toss to coat well with the onion mixture. Pour in the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated.
  4. Start adding the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring so that the stock is completely absorbed before adding the next ladle. After approximately 20 minutes the rice should be al dente. Remove it from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Set aside to cool.
  5. Stir the egg and chopped asparagus into the risotto and season with salt and pepper. Shape into balls and stuff with a mozzarella cheese cube. Roll in the breadcrumbs to coat (the risotto mixture should be stiff so that it holds its shape). If it is too runny, spread it on a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes to dry out a little.
  6. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Test the temperature by sprinkling in a few breadcrumbs. They should sizzle. Deep-fry the rice balls in hot oil until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn them regularly to ensure even browning.
  7. Meanwhile, turn the broiler on and coat the remaining asparagus with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast under the broiler until charred.
  8. To serve, place the charred asparagus on a plate or platter and top with the rice ball.

Recipe by Suzie of Just Crumbs for Produce Made Simple

Get inspired! Watch the recipe video too.

We have so many other wonderful asparagus recipes on our site – just search “asparagus” for more inspiration.
And don’t forget that Suzie also have more delicious recipes including her Bacon Phyllo Wrapped Asparagus!

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