Italian Rice Fritters
| ||3 || cups water |
| ||1 || tsp. salt |
| ||1½ || cups arborio rice |
| ||¾ || cup raisins |
| ||6 || eggs, lightly beaten |
| ||½ || cup pine nuts |
| ||2 || tsp. grated lemon zest |
| ||1 || tsp. vanilla extract |
| ||¼ || tsp. orange-blossom water (optional) |
| ||~ || Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying |
| ||~ || Sugar or honey, for topping |
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place a baking sheet inside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
- While the rice cools, soak the raisins in warm water to cover. Drain well.
- Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and stir in the plumped raisins, eggs, pine nuts, lemon zest, vanilla, and orange-blossom water, if using.
- In a deep, heavy skillet or saucepan, heat at least 1 inch of oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
- Working in batches, drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls into the oil, pressing gently to flatten. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the fritters and drain on paper towels.
- Keep cooked fritters warm on the baking sheet in the oven. Serve hot sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey.