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Recipe: These Addictive Arancini are Made With Lots of Cheese and Za’atar

Scarmoza-filled arancini are a signature dish by Chef Ella Aflalo, at the Luma Foundation in France

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By Architectural Digest France | November 25, 2023 | Recipes

Ella Aflalo, chef in residence at the Luma Foundation in Arles, shares the recipe for her inimitable arancini with scarmoza, honey-mustard-dill sauce.

"Colorful, lively and fragrant": this is how Ella Aflalo defines her cuisine, inspired by her Levantine origins. It includes inventive Mediterranean dishes such as mussels with harissa, saffron tarts, babkas... Discover here the recipe for her arancini, from her cookbook Sol, published by First in 2022.

Arancini with scamorza, honey-mustard-dill sauce

This is the recipe for 6-8 arancini, ready in 50 minutes, and rest 2 hours.

Dill is the rich and tangy herb combined with mustard in this arancini recipe. Image via Pexels.

For the Risotto

250 g risotto rice (arborio)

1 l vegetable stock (or 2 vegetable stock cubes)

1 yellow onion

10 cl white wine

½ lemon confit

1 c. tablespoon zaatar

100 g grated Parmesan cheese

1 c. tablespoon olive oil

15 g soft butter

200 g scamorza (to garnish arancini)

Fine salt and pepper

Honey-mustard sauce

100 g semi-strong mustard

50 g honey

¼ bunch dill

Breadcrumbs and baking

200 g panko breadcrumbs

200 g flour

3 eggs

1 l frying oil


Fine salt

Making the risotto

Heat the vegetable stock in a large saucepan over medium heat, or dilute the stock cubes in 1 l of water.

Finely dice the onion and lemon confit (3 mm cubes). Heat the tablespoon of oil and the butter in a large, rimmed frying pan. Add the diced onions and lemon confit and sauté over low heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the risotto rice and stir continuously. The grains should lose their opaque appearance. Deglaze with white wine and cook for 2 minutes until reduced. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir. Once the broth has been absorbed by the rice, add another ladle until the broth is used up (about 20 minutes). Once the risotto is cooked, add the salt and pepper, zaatar and Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

To form the arancini, the rice must be cold. Let cool to room temperature, then chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Cut scamorza into 1 cm cubes. Shape the cold risotto into 80 g balls and enclose a cube of scamorza in each ball. Set the balls aside in a cool place.

Making the honey-mustard sauce

Sort the dill, keeping only the sprigs, and chop them finely. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey and chopped dill.

This recipe originally appeared on Architectural Digest France