Vojtech celebrates leftover rice

Founder at Surplus Food Studio, Slovakia

Author and food-waste pioneer Vojtech Vegh cooks Arancini with red pepper sauce

Having witnessed food waste first hand in some of the world’s leading restaurants, Vojtech was inspired to set up the first zero-waste vegan restaurant in the world. He has since written the book “Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs”.

Leftover Arancini with red pepper sauce leftover-arancini

“Rice is one of those ingredients that you cook plenty of to make sure there’s enough, but then you often end up with leftovers. Left over rice should be used or frozen quickly before it dries out,” - Vojtech Vegh

min cooking

What you need

Arancini: 400g leftover rice 200g white wine 150g leek tops 50g cashews 4 tsp potato starch 1 tbsp vegetable oil Cracked black pepper Salt Breadcrumbs for coating Oil for frying
Red pepper sauce: 500g red peppers 50g onion 1 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tsp sugar Salt To serve: 100g baby spinach 50g hazelnuts 20g lemon juice Salt

Watch the video

Watch as Voitech takes you through the recipe and gives you an insight into zero-waste cooking.

Step 1/5 The red pepper sauce

Onions & vegetable oil

We first prepare the red pepper sauce. Slice the onion and sauté in a pot with a touch of vegetable oil.

Red peppers

Cut the core out of the red peppers (keep in freezer to use in a stock later on), cut it up into chunks and add to the sauteed onions.

Salt, sugar & cook

Sprinkle with salt, add the sugar and lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 20-30 minutes with the lid on. You can add a little water if necessary.

Step 2/5 Prepare the cashews

While the red peppers are cooking, prepare the cashews for arancinis by boiling them in water for 15 minutes. Once cooked, strain the cashews and blend them into a paste with a little water.

Step 3/5 Spinach, lemon & hazelnuts

In the meantime, mix the baby spinach with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and set it aside in a bowl. Prepare the hazelnuts for plating by chopping them up into small pieces.

Step 4/5 Blend the red pepper sauce

Once the red peppers are soft and mushy, blend them into a smooth sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Step 5/5 The arancinis

Leek tops & white wine

To make the arancinis, take half the amount of the leek tops, chop them up into small pieces and sauté them for about a minute in a hot pan with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt. Add white wine to the pan and cook until the wine is reduced.

You can substitute the leek tops with any other ingredient you have in your fridge such as carrot greens, herbs and leaves, mushrooms, courgette, or just grate a leftover vegetables into the mixture.

Mix the rest of the ingredients

Chop up the rest of the leek tops and mix with cooked rice, sauteed leeks, cashew paste, potato starch, black pepper and salt.

You can use corn starch instead of potato starch, and you can use any type of rice.

Form & deep fry

Let the mixture cool down and form into small (approx. 3-4cm) balls and cover in breadcrumbs. Deep fry the arancinis in 180°C hot oil until golden brown.

Let’s plate it

“Food plating” is what professional chefs refer to when arranging and decorating food to enhance its presentation. Why not "plate it" to add to your home dining experience?

To plate the dish

Drizzle the red pepper sauce on the plate (use a squeeze bottle or a spoon), add five pieces of arancinis arranged to one side of the plate, a small handful of marinated spinach leaves and a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts. Bon appétit!

So, what can I do?