Arancini with Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar

Sous Chef Jon Rosnow from Heritage Tavern in Madison, WI paired the cheddar's caramel and nutty flavor notes with watercress, resulting in a fresh tasting, decadent pesto sauce.

Wisconsin Cheese Arancini with Bandaged Wrapped Cheddar Recipe
Active Time
1 Hour
10 Arancini


Cheddar Pesto:



Look for the Proudly Wisconsin Badge when shopping for cheese. Any brand of Wisconsin Aged Cheddar can be used in this recipe.


Cheddar Pesto:

  1. Place the pine nuts, garlic and salt into a food processor; cover and pulse until mixture is finely chopped. Add watercress; cover and process until a paste forms. While processing, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add cheddar; cover and process until mixture is smooth. 


  1. Gently combine cold risotto with 1 cup pesto in a large bowl. Divide risotto mixture into 20 portions. Shape into balls.
  2. Flatten each ball into a disk. Place 1 tablespoon cheddar into the center of each disk; seal risotto mixture around cheese. Roll into balls.
  3. Place the flour, eggs and bread crumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Dredge balls in flour. Dip balls into eggs; then coat with bread crumbs, shaking off any extra coating between steps.
  4. Heat 3 inches canola oil in a deep-fat fryer or a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat to 375˚F. Fry balls in oil, in batches, for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Garnish with additional watercress if desired, cheddar and remaining pesto. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tip

Allow oil temperature when frying to return to 375°F between batches.

Cheesemonger Tip

Select for cheesemonger info

Do you have questions when shopping for cheese? Ask the cheesemonger! A cheesemonger specializes in the buying and selling of high-quality cheese, usually available in the specialty section of a grocery store or cheese shop. Knowledgeable and passionate, a cheesemonger is a go-to resource for cheese varieties and pairings, proper cheese storage and handling, its cooking applications and cheese brand information.

This artisan, cloth-wrapped cheddar is aged in a cave, which creates complex caramel, nutty and earthy flavors and a decadent crystalline crunch.

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