When you don’t know what to do and are in the mood for a tasty, beautiful and complete and balanced first course or one-course meal, Venere rice turrets with almond cream and tomatoes are definitely a possible answer, even fun to prepare together with me.
Discovering Venere rice
Did you know that Venere rice is an all-Italian product? It is the first Italian brown rice born, cultivated and processed exclusively in the historical rice-growing lands of Piedmont and the beautiful Tirso Valley in Sardinia.
It was the seed co-operative Sapise (Sardo Piemontese Sementi) that in 1997 crossed a very hardy local white rice variety with a black Asian variety that could not be cultivated in Italy, resulting in this rice that was named Venere after the planet in our solar system, but also after the goddess of love for its alleged aphrodisiac powers (in Asia, these properties are attributed to the black colour of the rice!). The trademark is registered and you can find all the information by clicking on this link: https://www.risovenere.it/
Personally, I find the aroma and taste of Venere rice irresistible, which makes me overcome any reluctance in the face of the long cooking time, which is the characteristic of all wholegrain rice types. Well, we know that brown rice has a much lower glycemic index than white rice, so this characteristic also makes it preferable to other options.
The quantities I propose for the almond and tomato cream, will certainly leave you with a little more than you need to serve the turrets, but I think it is worth making more so you can combine it with vegetable Pinzimonio and croutons as a healthy and delicious dip.
One last note that certainly never hurts: Venere rice turrets are also a treat for the eyes!
My recipe for Venere rice turrets with almond cream and tomatoes
11.26g carbohydrates per 100g
Ingredients for 4 turrets
- 160g Venere rice
- 300g cow’s milk mozzarella
- 300g San Marzano tomatoes
- 40g peeled almonds (soaked in water for a few hours)
- 30g bread**
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of anchovy sauce or a few anchovies in oil
- 1 bunch of basil
- basil leaves to complete
- extra virgin olive oil
- apple vinegar
- salt and pepper
**Ingredients specific for celiacs
*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on Prontuario AIC)
- Boil the rice in salted water, drain it and season it with lemon juice and anchovy sauce or 2 anchovies melted in olive oil in a heated pan for a few minutes, then let it cool. Cut 6 slices of mozzarella and let them drip. Take some square cutters 6-7cm long and fill with a layer of Venere rice, one of mozzarella then one of rice and press the layers down. Let it rest.
- Drain the almonds and put them in a food processor with the chopped San Marzano tomatoes, a pinch of salt, a handful of basil leaves and the crumbled bread. Blend until creamy.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes and season them with oil, salt and apple vinegar.
- Unmould the rice and mozzarella turrets, garnish with cherry tomatoes and a quenelle of tomato and almond cream on top of the turret. Complete with a few basil leaves, a drizzle of oil and a grinding of pepper.
Version with gluten of Venere rice turrets with almond cream and tomatoes
Replace the gluten-free bread with an equal amount of standard bread.