Sicilian Rice Balls Olivetti


An appetizer with a surprise in the middle. These rice balls are easy to prepare and are a great treat. Golden on the outside, tender on the inside, and the olive in the center is a bonus.


3 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1⁄4 tsp. powdered saffron
1 1⁄2 cups arborio rice
1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1⁄8 cup parsley, minced
1 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 3⁄4 cups California Ripe Olives, extra large
1 1⁄2 oz. fontina cheese, cubed
1 1⁄2 cups Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten


1. In a saucepan, bring stock and saffron to a boil. Add rice; return to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender, approx. 20 min. Stir in cheese, parsley and butter; cool. Stir in 1 beaten egg.

2. Drain olives. Stuff olives with fontina cheese cubes.

3. Scoop 11⁄2 tbsp. rice mixture into palm of hand. Make an indentation in the center and insert one olive. Roll to enclose olive in rice. Repeat with remaining olives and rice.

4. Divide bread crumbs. Dip each ball into the first bowl of crumbs, then in egg, then second bowl of crumbs. Deep fry until golden brown. Serve 3 balls per serving.

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