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
20 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 in 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 in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge balls in flour. Dip balls in eggs; then coat with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess 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 remaining pesto, additional watercress if desired and cheddar. 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 sweet caramel, nutty and earthy flavors and a lovely crystalline crunch.

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