Arancini, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, and Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Adapted by
April 2017
Yield: 6 servings
Sommelier and self-proclaimed “acid freak” Patrick Houghton says a good white Burgundy is like a laser beam with food, and he uses a 2014 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet to zero in on Chef Matthew Vawtner’s composed arancini plate. “We chose the Sauzet because it has weight, but it’s not overly rich like California Chardonnay,” says Houghton. “The wine has a great line of acidity—a nerviness—that balances out with the skyr, and the oak is brought out a touch more from the cauliflower soup. It’s a great paring with lots of backbone.”


½ pound butter, room temperature
½ yellow onion, minced
2 cups Aquerello rice
¼ cup white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup grated Toma
Black pepper
3 eggs, whisked
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
Hazelnut Butter
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted
2 cups almond milk
Cauliflower Purée
2 tablespoons butter
½ head cauliflower, chopped
½ yellow onion, diced
¼ Idaho potato, peeled and sliced
2 cups heavy cream
White pepper
Hazelnut Vinaigrette
¼ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
6 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup grapeseed oil
White pepper
To Assemble and Serve
Grapeseed oil for frying
½ head cauliflower, cut into florets and roasted
1 cup roasted mushrooms
1½ cups arugula


For the Arancini

Bring ¾ gallon of water to a boil. In a separate, heavy-bottom pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and sweat until translucent. Add rice, coat completely with butter, and toast 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Deglaze with white wine. In 2-ounce pours, add boiling water, stirring constantly until all water has been absorbed and rice is overcooked, soft, and creamy. Add remaining butter and cheeses and stir until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a sheet tray. When cool, form rice into 18 balls, each 1½ inches in diameter. Set up a three part breading station with eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs. One by one, dip and dredge balls.  

For the Hazelnut Butter

In a saucepot over medium heat, combine toasted hazelnuts and almond milk, bring to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer mixture to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Season with salt and transfer to a squeeze bottle.

For the Cauliflower Purée

In a heavy-bottom pot on medium flame, melt butter and cook cauliflower, onion, and potato, until cauliflower and onion are soft. Pour in cream and season heavily with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until potato is soft. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend on high until smooth.

For the Hazelnut Vinaigrette

In a mixing bowl, mix to combine hazelnuts, vinegar, and shallot. Stir in oil, season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve

In a saucepot over medium heat, heat grapeseed oil to 350℉. Shallow-fry 3 Arancini until completely cooked through and crispy. In a mixing bowl, dress cauliflower, mushrooms, and arugula with Hazelnut Vinaigrette. Spoon Cauliflower Purée onto a plate. Top with Arancini, plating salad between the balls. Finish the plate with dots of Hazelnut Butter.