Wild mushroom and mozzarella Arancini with a truffle oil aioli

PUBLISHED: 11:04 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 10 July 2017




Head chef Adam Jones has just arrived at The Lion & Lamb in Takeley, but has plans to shake up the menus. Here he shares his recipe for little balls of cheesy gorgeousness ….


Adam lives in Essex, although isn’t originally from the county. ‘I was born in Wales, but definitely bred in Essex.’

Classically trained at Colchester Institute, he’s looking to take the food at the The Lion & Lamb to the next level. He’s currently developing the new menu and you’ll soon be seeing modern contemporary British, French and European dishes.

‘It’s going to be very, very different, but still in keeping with the traditional pub atmosphere too,’ Adam explains.


Serves 4

For the wild mushroom risotto

20g of unsalted butter

5g of chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley

10g of freshly-grated Parmesan or vegetarian alternative

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

100g of mixed wild mushrooms (cleaned and washed)

2 tbsps of olive oil

60ml of white wine

100g of risotto rice

500ml of chicken or vegetable stock

1 garlic clove (crushed)

1/2 onion (finely chopped)

For the arancini

1 buffalo mozzarella

40g of plain flour

2 medium free range eggs

50g of breadcrumbs

Sunflower or groundnut oil for frying

For the aioli

2 cloves of crushed garlic

100g of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of good quality truffle oil

1/2 tsp of ground turmeric

Juice half a lemon

For the garnish

12 close cup mushrooms

Red basil leaves


For the wild mushroom risotto, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and garlic, then cover with a lid and cook for five minutes. Pour the chicken stock into a separate pan and bring to a simmer. Add the rice to the onions and coat in the butter. Add the white wine, then boil and reduce for two minutes.

Add just enough hot stock to cover the rice. Heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan and fry the mushrooms for three minutes until golden brown. Season and add to the rice. Cook the rice and mushrooms for ten minutes, adding a little more stock once the previous batch has been absorbed by the rice. When the rice has softened, but still has a slight bite, add the parsley and lemon juice.

Taste and adjust seasoning, then pour into a large shallow dish. Leave for 10 minutes to cool down, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.

Once the risotto is firm to touch, form into four balls using your hands. Keep rolling the risotto in the palm of your hands to achieve the right shape. Cut four pieces off the mozzarella that are the size of a pound coin. Insert a finger into the centre and insert a piece of mozzarella in the middle, closing the hole by pushing the risotto back together.


When the risotto balls are set, take three plates or bowls. Put the flour on one, break and whisk the eggs into another and place the breadcrumbs on the third. Take the risotto balls out of the fridge, coat well in the flour, then in the eggs and finally the breadcrumbs.

Half fill a pan with oil and heat until hot enough that a pinch of breadcrumbs sizzles when dropped into the oil. Alternatively, heat a deep fat fryer to 170C. Deep fry the risotto balls for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

For the aioli, place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

For the garnish, place mushrooms on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then bake in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.

Serve three arancini per person on a plate or board with the aioli, place a closed cup mushroom on top of each arancini and garnish with red basil leaves. Buonissimo!!!!

Get the taste

The Lion & Lamb

Stortford Road,

Little Canfield

Nr Takeley,



01279 870257


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