Posts

Ideas for out-of-home meals are always good because we increasingly eat lunch away from our kitchens. What does our lunch box contain today? An appetising Red rice salad with avocado cream.

Red rice is a wholemeal alternative to white rice, thus an excellent substitute, rich in flavour and, above all, fibre. In this lunch box you will find it paired with a tasty cream of avocado, a fruit rich in antioxidants and cholesterol-friendly mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and a vegetable salad enriched with the Omega 3 of tuna.

Here then is how you can prepare it for another good and satisfying lunch.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for meals with a lower amount of carbs, try my Roastbeef with aubergine cream.

Red rice salad with avocado cream

51.72g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 60g Basmati rice
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 40g drained tuna
  • 40g iceberg lettuce
  • 30g fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 30g carrots
  • 30g pitted green olives
  • lemon juice
  • parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the red rice in lightly salted water, possibly making sure that the rice completely absorbs the liquid. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil.
  2. Mash half an avocado in a bowl and add Greek yoghurt, season with parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the salad by cutting iceberg lettuce into strips, grate the carrots, add the pitted olives and dress with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Fill the lunch box by placing the red rice in one of the containers with the drained tuna and the avocado cream, while placing the vegetable salad in the second container. Close it up and take it with you!

riso rosso con crema di avocado

I have already introduced you to the black cherry liqueur Ratafià by the artisan company Scuppoz so today you will discover the second liqueur I love to use in the kitchen, namely the liquorice liqueur which I propose in this Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction, which is also lactose-free.

Liquorice is Abruzzo’s black gold. In the past, this root was given to children instead of candies because it was just as sweet and available in nature along the paths from the mountains down to the sea.

Scuppoz Liquorice Liqueur is produced in a completely artisan way by infusing liquorice roots, which give the liqueur an unmistakable and harmonious flavour (here you can find the AIC rules for choosing gluten-free liqueurs). The ideal temperature for enjoying this liqueur is the refrigerator temperature, as is also the case in my recipe in which, however, we no longer have alcohol in order to serve it to children too!

Follow Scuppoz’s news on social media (https://www.instagram.com/scuppoz_spirits/ ): you won’t regret it!

panna cotta alle mandorle

Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction

41.35g carbohydrates per 100g of Panna cotta without liquorice reduction

Ingredients for 4-5 servings

  • 200g vegetable cream*
  • 150g almond milk*
  • 70g sugar
  • 8g gelatine sheets*

Ingredients for the liquorice reduction

  • Scuppoz liquorice liqueur*

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

 Preparation

  1. Soak the gelatine in cold water.
  2. Put almond milk, vegetable cream and sugar on the stove to heat.
  3. Wring the gelatine and add it to the mixture over the heat so that it melts, then stir well and remove from the heat.
  4. Fill moulds of the desired shape, then place them in the refrigerator for a few hours so that the mixture solidifies.
  5. Prepare the liquorice liquor reduction. Put the desired amount in a small pan and when it comes to the boil, let it reduce for a few minutes, then allow it to cool completely. You can decide to put it in the refrigerator until the momento of serving.
  6. Remove the Panna cotta from the moulds and place it directly on the serving plate, then douse it with the liquorice liqueur.

panna cotta alle mandorle

Version with gluten of Almond panna cotta with liquorice reduction

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

Today I want to take you on a trip to the mountains of the Abruzzo region to discover artisan liqueurs created, as if by magic, by a family of nature and food lovers, which I want to propose to you in this recipe, also lactose-free, to prepare my Prawns with cream of Cannellini beans flavoured with Ratafià.

Artisan liqueurs in the kitchen

Let me introduce the liqueurs by the Scuppoz company starting with the name. The term ‘Scuppoz’ is an onomatopoeic word from Abruzzo that sounds like glasses clinking for toasting and celebrating, but today, Scuppoz is an artisan company that produces liqueurs using what the land of the mountains has to offer: wild herbs, berries and a lot of creative energy.

Before I met the Scuppoz liqueurs, I met Anna, the irrepressible wife of the second generation of herb alchemists whose passion in telling about the battles and challenges of making liqueurs in the hostile mountains of Abruzzo conquered me to the point that I couldn’t but find out about these ‘strong and gentle spirits’, as the motto of the ‘Medicinette’ liqueur collection reads.

Le "Medicinette" dell'azienda Scuppoz

The “Medicinette” collecion by Scuppoz

Ratafià: black cherry liqueur from the hills and Montepulciano wine

For my recipe, I chose the black cherry liqueur Ratafià made with black cherries from the hills and Montepulciano wine, ingredients that give the liqueur a powerful structure. Scuppoz Ratafià can be enjoyed by people with coeliac disease because it is prepared only with red wine, sour cherry juice and alcohol, i.e. without the addition of flavourings (here you will find the AIC rules for choosing gluten-free liqueurs).

Where does the name Ratafià come from? From the Latin expression‘ut rata fiat’, let the deed be ratified, because it was customary to drink this liqueur (prepared by women, but drunk mostly by men) immediately after signing a notarial contract to sanction its validity.

Scuppoz liqueurs are a journey of aromas, flavours and mountain stories, which I have brought to you in this recipe so that even the little ones at home can fully enjoy the experience without taking the alcoholic part for which they will have to wait a while!

And remember to follow Anna’s adventures on social media (https://www.instagram.com/scuppoz_spirits/ ): you won’t regret it!

gamberi con crema di cannellini al ratafia

Prawns with cream of Cannellini beans flavoured with Ratafià

14.10g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 400g red onion from Acquaviva delle Fonti (or Tropea onion)
  • 400g cooked chickpeas
  • 8 prawn tails
  • 2 shallots
  • vegetable stock
  • Ratafià – Scuppoz black cherry liqueur*
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Slice the red onion and brown it in a non-stick pan with a little oil for a few minutes, then cover with vegetable stock and let it cook without browning.
  2. When the onion is soft and the stock has evaporated, deglaze with 4-5 tablespoons of Ratafià, add salt and pepper and let the liquor thicken for a few minutes, then turn off the heat.
  3. Prepare the Cannellini cream. Put the chopped shallot in a non-stick pan, let it brown, then add the cooked Cannellini beans and let them season for about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the Cannellini beans to a blender, add the necessary amount of stock to obtain a thick cream and blend. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the onion cooked in Ratafià to a bowl so that you can use the frying pan to cook the prawns: leaving the cooking juices of the onion, cook the prawn tails for a maximum of 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Now assemble the dish: with a ring, form a disc of Cannelli cream, place the Ratafià flavoured onion on top, then 2 prawns and finish with a grinding of pepper and a very light drizzle of oil.

gamberi con crema di cannellini al ratafia

Version with gluten of Prawns with cream of Cannellini beans flavoured with Ratafià

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

Here come more ideas for out-of-home meals to be carried in our lunch box for eating at work or at school.  This is a recipe for a Chicken salad with a very low carb content to be thus completed with a source of healthy carbs.

This tasty lunch box contains very few carbs therefore remember to add a slice of wholemeal bread to and a fruits in season for a balanced nutritional intake.  And remember that this Chicken salad with apples and green beans can be a good solution in every season.

This is where we found our LUNCH BOX.

Are you running short of ideas for out-of-home meals! And if you are looking for a lunch with a higher amount of carbs, try my Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli.

Chicken salad with apples and string beans

8.4g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 180g chicken (this will weigh about 130g once cooked)
  • 60g iceberg lettuce
  • 50g string beans
  • 50g tuna in oil
  • 50g apples
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Tabasco
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Grill the chicken, then cut it into strips and flavour with some drops of Tabasco, salt, pepper, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley.
  2. Boil the string beans and throw them in cold water as soon as they are cooked.
  3. Put the lettuce cut into strips in a bowl, add the apples, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the apple from becoming dark, add some tuna fillets in pieces and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Complete the lunch box dressing the chicken with string beans in pieces, a dribble of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper as needed.

Insalata di pollo

Version with gluten of Chicken salad with apples and string beans 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

Are you looking for new ideas for out-of-home meals at the office or university? Here is an easy recipe for a tasty and healthy Venere rice salad for a meal to take with you.

For our kids who need to eat gluten free and to count the carbohydrates contained in the meal, the lunch box is the perfect solution to travel, but the question is: what can I cook that can be quick and easy to carry? One of the many answers is this Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts.

This is where we found our LUNCH BOX.

Follow me not to run short of ideas for out-of-home meals! E non perderti il Roastbeef con crema di melanzane.

Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts

60.2g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 120g cherry tomatoes
  • 70g Venere rice (Italian black rice) (weight when cooked 140g)
  • 15g Pecorino cheese
  • 15g shelled pistachios, unsalted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • mint and basil
  • oregano
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the rice in plenty of slightly salted boiling water and, if you don’t have time, choose a pre-cooked Venere rice that will be ready in a few minutes.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half placing the cut side on the tin lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with salt, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. Put them in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes or anyway until they start caramelising.
  3. Coarsely grate the Pecorino cheese and slightly chop the pistachio nuts.
  4. Dress the Venere rice with the roasted tomatoes with their juice, grated Pecorino, pistachio nuts and chopped mint and basil adjusting salt, if needed.

Riso venere con pomodorini e pistacchi

Version with gluten of Venere rice salad with cherry tomatoes and pistachio nuts

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

 

 

Are you looking for more ideas for your out-of-home lunch? Eating out is indispensable not only for those who work, but also for those who study, so the time has come to share some recipes for your lunch box or for what Japanese people call “bento“… Well, many ideas for lunch boxes that are complete, balanced and tasty to take with you on every occasion.

So, for our young ones going to university and having to eat gluten free and to count carbohydrates easily, the lunch box is a faithful travel mate that contributes to turning the lunch break into a joyful moment.

We found the perfect lunch box for our needs at our friend’s store “I love my house” whom I always ask for help when I am looking for equipment and kitchen solutions: here is where you can find our LUNCH BOX.

This is the beginning of a project that is very dear to me because lunch is a key meal, especially for out kids and we cannot allow ourselves to run short of ideas!

Stay tuned for many more fantastic recipes! Meanwhile, have a look at my Coronation pasta salad.

Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli

85.91g carbohydrates for the whole lunch box

Ingredients for 1 lunch box

  • 110g broccoli florets
  • 100g boiled chickpeas
  • 70g Massimo Zero Organic Pipe**
  • 15g dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • paprika
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • salt

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (in Italy they may be listed on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil pasta al dente in salted boiling water, drain and dress it with a dribble of extra virgin olive oil leaving the pasta to cool down.
  2. Blend 70g chickpeas with about 50g water, lemon juice, salt and pepper and a dribble of oil to obtain a cream.
  3. Dress the remaining chickpeas with paprika, pepper and oil to taste, together with blanched broccoli florets.
  4. Season the pasta with the chickpea and broccoli mixture, then add the dried apricots cut in pieces and pour everything in the lunch box.
  5. Put the chickpea cream in the second container or on the pasta completing with a dusting of chopped parsley and a dribble of oil.  Mix well before eating.

Version with gluten of Pasta with chickpea cream and broccoli 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten; however, if you want, you can replace Massimo Zero corn and rice pasta with a durum wheat alternative.

If you want to surprise your friends with simplicity, this Tomato Bruschetta sauce can be an idea: with 3 ingredients and the aromatic herbs from your garden, you can have a topping that is as irresistible as cherries!

With so few ingredients, the secret for success is their quality and especially peeled tomatoes make the difference. My recommendation is for you to try Ciro Flagella Peeled Tomatoes that you will never forget after trying once.  Then, if you really want a treat, prepare 2 sauces following the same procedure, but using red tomatoes for one sauce and yellow tomatoes for the other: it will be like having a cone of Gelato with two scoops of your favourite flavours.

For a perfect Bruschetta sauce, remember to remove all the seeds from the peeled tomatoes and avoid pieces of aromatic herbs: use a specific bag or container for the herbs so that they can release their essential oils, but not lose leaves or seeds.

And if you have time to chop some extra shallot, make some extra sauce and store it in a jar in the refrigerator to serve with starters or main courses.

ingredienti

Tomato Bruschetta sauce

6.6g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 500g peeled tomatoes
  • 150g shallot
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, marjoram, summer savoury)
  • extra virgin olive oil, chilli pepper, garlic, salt

Preparation of the Bruschetta sauce

  1. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and dice the flesh.  Chop the shallot finely and sweat it with 50g olive oil, then add the diced tomato, the garlic and the aromatic herbs bouquet in a bag or colander so that it just releases its aroma.
  2. Allow to cook over low heat until the tomato has become creamy and the liquid has completely evaporated, therefore at least 1 hour.
  3. Use the sauce to top Bruschettas or with meat or fish.

salsa di pomodori gialli

Version with gluten of Tomato Bruschetta sauce 

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

When asparagus is in season, we can indulge in cooking it in a variety of ways, and here is an idea for a vegetarian one-course meal: Dairy-free asparagus loaf.

For someone like me who comes from a family of producers of Parmigiano Reggianogiving up cheese is not easy, but I am often on the lookout for ideas for recipes that do not include it as an ingredient precisely to avoid the risk of consuming too much of it, as I love cheese!

Having potatoes as the main ingredient, this recipe with asparagus is a dish that provides a good dose of carbohydrates combined with plenty of fibre due to the presence of so many vegetables, so simply accompanying it with a side dish of fresh vegetables makes for a complete meal.

And remember that asparagus can be cooked in the microwave for few minutes to retain all its flavour! Read how in the recipe procedure.

Dairy-free asparagus loaf

13.28g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 470g peeled potatoes
  • 350g asparagus
  • 210g onions
  • 100g leek
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g breadcrumbs**
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Crusco pepper to taste
  • oregano, mint
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of Dairy free asparagus loaf

  1. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and boil them in lightly salted water until soft.
  2. Mash the potatoes while they are still hot in a bowl and set them aside.
  3. Slice onions and leeks and fry them in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook.
  4. Cook the asparagus. You can choose to cook the asparagus in the microwave oven by making a layer of spears in a container and cooking it for 4 minutes at 600W. Alternatively, cook the asparagus in a non-stick pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few tablespoons of water until soft.
  5. Put the mashed potatoes in a bowl, add the onions and leeks, chopped asparagus and egg whites; mix everything together, season with oregano, mint, pepper and salt.
  6. Lightly grease an oven dish, pour in the potato and vegetable mixture, flatten the surface and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Top with a drizzle of oil and cook au gratin in a convection oven preheated to 200°C until a golden crust forms on the surface.
Il polpettone con asparagi senza formaggio pronto per essere gustato

The Dairy free asparagus loaf ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Dairy free asparagus loaf

Replace gluten free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs; no other adaptation is needed.

Naturally gluten-free chocolate sweets with candied violets for Valentine’s Day: the candied flower from Parma to give a sweet scent to the palate.

Violette

Violets

Candied flowers and chocolate

Violets are the symbol of spring when their unmistakable colour begins to paint the still cold earth with purple and white brush strokes. This little flower, delicate in form and colour, bursts forth with its powerful scent to announce the magic of nature’s reawakening, which repeats itself every year like a rebirth.

Violets arrived in Parma thanks to Marie Louise of Austria, the second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was Duchess of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla between 1814 and 1847. The Duchess’s passion for this flower meant that many violet cultivations were planted in the area , which the monks of the Convento dell’Annunciata used to obtain the essence through steam distillation of flowers and leaves for the Duchess’s exclusive use. The fragrance created using the precious essential oil soon became famous throughout Europe under the name of Parma Violet.

Even today, at Marie Louise’s behest, her tomb in Vienna is always adorned with violets.

If the use of the violet in perfumery is no surprise, its use in cooking is certainly less well known, especially in the form of a candied sweet, made with painstaking care, artistry and charm by a few skilled hands.

Candying

The production of candied violets is closely linked to nature because, as we all know if we like to pick these fragrant flowers, their appearance along the paths and in the meadows varies according to the temperature, so the few companies dedicated to their processing have their binoculars aimed at spotting the mauve-coloured dots popping up on the horizon.

To be candied, the flowers must be quite large – as the process will reduce their size – and perfectly intact. Once carefully gathered into bunches, the violets are sprayed with fresh water to gently wash them, the stems are removed one by one, then the petals are brushed by hand with glucose syrup before being coated with caster sugar. Covered with sugar, violets are placed in tanks containing glucose and sugar, called Brillantiere, where they crystallise, taking on the appearance that characterises the finished product.

The most striking thing when eating a violet is the scent: a truly unusual experience. Personally, I only discovered in adulthood that these sweets on sale in Parma’s traditional pastry shops were real flowers treated with such passion and not sugar souvenirs for tourists!

Le violette candite sul dolcetto

The candied violets on the cake

In the month of love, a flower to eat.

I wanted to take the opportunity of Valentine’s Day, which I love celebrating in the Anglo-Saxon way (i.e. celebrating love in all its forms and not just between married couples or fiancés), to share with you this traditional preparation from my hometown because I thought you might find it nice to give a ‘bouquet’ of violets to use to make deliciously beautiful and fragrant, mouth-watering treats, to be consumed sparingly when approaching rich and precious things… like a chocolate treat! If you prefer to bake a cake, use candied violets to decorate the Lovers’ Sacher.

Where to find candied violets

In most confectioner’s shops in Parma, especially during the first months of the year, pretty packages of candied violets will pop up, ideal for having a little piece of tradition in a sweet. To be on the safe side, you can enter the realm of confectionery enthusiasts (both physical and online), the shop Dalla A allo Zucchero in the city centre, where you will find any ingredient or equipment to make your cakes, including these beautiful violets.

Chocolate sweets with candied violets

carbohydrates of shortbread bases 53.38g per 100g

carbohydrates of chocolate mousse 22.12g per 100g

Ingredients for the shortbread for 12 sweets

  • 110g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 65g butter
  • 65g brown or coconut sugar
  • 35g almond flour*
  • 25g potato starch*
  • 25g tapioca starch*
  • 10g bitter cocoa powder*
  • 1 egg
  • grated orange peel or orange paste*
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the chocolate mousse

  • 200g fresh cream
  • 100g dark chocolate*
  • 50g milk
  • 30g egg white (about 1)
  • 30g sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice;
  • grated coconut*
  • candied violets*

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of shortbread and mousse

  1. Prepare the shortbread by putting all the ingredients in the bowl of the planetary mixer; mix for a few minutes until the mixture is blended. Form a ball, cover it with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for the time needed to prepare the chocolate mousse
  2. Chop the dark chocolate finely; bring the milk to the boil and pour it over the dark chocolate, stirring with a whisk so that the chocolate melts completely.
  3. Whip the egg whites until stiff and add the sugar, mixing it in. Add this meringue to the melted chocolate, which will still be warm.
  4. Whip the cream until it has the texture of a Greek yoghurt (semi-whipped), then add this to the chocolate and egg white mixture. Place the mixture in the bowl of the planetary mixer and whip it for about 2 minutes with the whisk so that it is creamy, but soft. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for the time needed to prepare the shortbread bases.

Assembly of chocolate sweets

  1. Roll out the shortbread to a thickness of about 5mm with a rolling pin and cut out discs of the diameter corresponding to the tartlet mould (I use the non-stick mould for 12 muffins by Le Creusetit is very convenient because it doesn’t need to be greased), make them fit well in the hole, pierce the bottom with a fork and bake in a static oven preheated to 180°C for 10-13 minutes.
  2. If you have some shortbread left, cut some heart-shaped biscuits that you can use to decorate the sweets.
  3. Take the tartlets out of the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  4. Take a pastry bag and choose the tip you want: I chose the smooth 1.5cm diameter tip. Remove the mousse from the refrigerator, fill a pastry bag and top the tartlets as desired. Sprinkle with grated coconut and complete with a candied violet and a small biscuit.

Dolcetti per san valentino

Version with gluten of Chocolate sweets with candied violets

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten. If you want to use wheat flour, replace rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch with equal amounts of wheat flour.

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)

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes and season them with oil, salt and apple vinegar.
  4. 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.

Foto delle Torrette di riso venere con crema di mandorle e pomodori

Version with gluten of Venere rice turrets with almond cream and tomatoes

Replace the gluten-free bread with an equal amount of standard bread.