Posts

Have you already thought about what to prepare for Easter lunch? Given the temperatures of the last few days, how about some recipes to organise a picnic, perhaps by the sea? Then this Tuna and Pepper Quiche could be a perfect recipe to enjoy sitting on the ground.

And since it is a festive day, I thought I would offer you a complete menu that you can easily make by following the recipes. What will I carry in my picnic basket? Definitely this Tuna and pepper quiche, a tasty and convenient Herb-marinated chicken salad (to be prepared conveniently a few days in advance) and my Little truffles with surprise.

All strictly easy to enjoy even without a set table. Are you ready to pack your picnic basket?

Tuna and pepper quiche

28.10g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

Ingredients for the brisé pastry

  • 250g gluten-free bread flour mix, brand Biaglut** (for the version with gluten, see below)
  • 80 g butter
  • 50g water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling

  • 400g red pepper
  • 350g yellow pepper
  • 200g tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 130g soft cheese
  • 100g pitted green and black olives
  • 80g spring onions
  • 70g fat free Greek yoghurt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Prepare the shortcrust pastry in the traditional way, i.e. by mixing all the ingredients until a compact and homogenous dough is obtained. Cover the brisé pastry with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for the time needed to prepare the filling.
  2. Chop the leek very finely and sweat it in a non-stick pan with a little extra virgin oli oil. Add the diced peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Place the soft cheese and yoghurt in a bowl, add the lightly chopped olives, the drained and crumbled tuna, then add the peppers and spring onions: mix well, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roll out the brisé prastry on a sheet of parchment paper and cover a 24cm diameter baking tin, leaving the edges high. Pour in the vegetable and tuna filling, then flatten the edges with the tines of a fork to seal the quiche. Sprinkle the surface with a pinch of oregano and bake in a static oven preheated to 180°C for about 45 minutes.
  5. Serve the quiche warm, accompanying it, if desired, with guacamole sauce.

quiche-di-peperoni-e-tonno

Version with gluten of Tuna and pepper quiche

The filling in the recipe is naturally gluten-free, while to prepare the brisé pastry, replace the BiAglut flour with an equal amount of wheat flour, but reduce the amount of water to only 20g.

The best part of an Easter egg is definitely opening it to find out what surprise it contains, so I didn’t want to miss out on this pleasure by proposing a mouth-watering dessert that is perfect for a picnic on the first days of spring: my Little truffles with surprise.

Thinking of the perfect dessert for an Easter Monday lunch, perhaps by the sea or surrounded by nature, a bite-sized treat to be eaten without cutlery is definitely the perfect solution. And do you know how my Little truffles with surprise were born? By pure chance with ingredients found in the fridge after my online cooking course on Fantastic Tarts. I recommend not underestimating the surprise effect by putting whatever you like in the centre of the soft mascarpone cream: in addition to my suggestions, give free rein to your imagination to make each bite unique.

Another added value of Little truffles with surprise is that you can prepare the dough even a week in advance by storing it in the freezer! Simply take it out of the freezer a few hours before completing the preparation… in short, a dessert for busy mums.

And if you want to know what my Easter lunch menu is going to be, here it is: Tuna and pepper quiche, Herb-marinated chicken salad and Little truffles with surprise.

Little truffles with surprise

33.15g carbohydrates per 100g of truffles without filling

Ingredients for about 20 little truffles

  • 250g Mascarpone
  • 180g shortbread biscuits**
  • 45g icing sugar*
  • 30g espresso coffee
  • filling to taste: jam*, berries, chocolate cream*, hazelnut cream*, almonds, hazelnuts, dried fruit
  • bitter cocoa powder*

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

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

Preparation

  1. Blend the shortbread biscuits in a mixer, then mix them with Mascarpone, icing sugar and espresso coffee to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Place the mixture in the freezer to harden and make it workable.
  2. When the mixture is firm, weigh out 25g spoonfuls, flatten them on the palm of one hand and place the filling of your choice in the centre, closing to form a ball.
  3. Place the cocoa powder in a soup dish or small bowl and roll the truffles in it so that they are well coated with cocoa.
  4. Place the truffles in paper cups and keep them in the fridge, taking care to remove them about 30 minutes before serving.

N.B.: to use them for a picnic, keep them in the freezer until the last moment, then store them in a cooler until ready to eat.

Tartufini-close-up

Version with gluten of Little truffles with surprise

Replace gluten-free shortbread biscuits with conventional biscuits; all other ingredients are naturally gluten-free, so no adaptations are necessary.

 

Welcome Spring! And what better way to do this than by preparing a Creamy beetroot risotto to pay homage to the pink colour of the blossoming trees? Because the typical pink colour of the peach tree is given precisely by the beetroot, which we can buy already cooked, perhaps baked, from our greengrocer.

Creamy beetroot risotto: pink on the plate.

The second star of the risotto is one of my absolute favourite cheeses, namely Gorgonzola, the Italian blue cheese par excellence, whose light spiciness gives the slightly earthy flavour of beetroot a boost of flavour.

Furthermore, you know well I love adding a crunchy touch to risottos, the perfect complement to the creaminess of well-roasted and smooth grains, and a very simple and effective idea are slivers of Jerusalem artichoke and slivers of Parmesan cheese.

ingredienti del risotto cremoso alla barbabietola

The ingredients of creamy beetroot risotto

Jerusalem artichoke: a zero-mileage tuber

Despite the name that makes us think it comes from who knows what distant country, Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous perennial plant with an underground tuber native to the American continent whose name probably comes from the South American Tupinamba tribe that made abundant use of it.

Like potato and tomato, Jerusalem artichoke has adapted perfectly to the climate of our country where it grows wild and almost weedy, especially along watercourses, and we recognise it by its beautiful yellow flowers on tall, straight stalks. So don’t be afraid to buy this kind of lumpy potato: it will be a constant surprise when you eat it raw, as in this risotto, or cooked as a side dish or cream.

So if you are looking for recipes for Easter, simple but surprising recipes and ideas to colour your table, here is a solution! And to complete the menu, try Easter pie.

Creamy beetroot risotto

25.35g carbohydrates per 100g  

 Ingredients for 4 servings

  • approx. 1.5 litres of previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 320g rice
  • 100g baked beetroot
  • 80g Gorgonzola
  • 70g red wine
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g shallot
  • 30g butter
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese for crisps

Ingredients to complete

  • 1 Jerusalem artichoke
  • Parmesan shavings
  • 2 slices of baked beetroot

Preparation

Put a little oil in a pan and very slowly brown the thinly sliced shallot and diced beetroot. After a few minutes, add a ladle of stock and let it cook for a few minutes. Transfer this vegetable base to a blender and blend to a cream-like mixture.

Start preparing the risotto. Put the rice in a thick-bottomed pan and toast it dry over high heat (it took me 3 minutes to have transparent rice grains with a white core in the centre). Douse the rice with red wine, allow to evaporate, then start adding the boiling stock. Continue stirring and only add stock when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. Five minutes from the end of cooking, add the beetroot cream and Gorgonzola cheese to the rice.

When the rice is still al dente, take it away from the heat and proceed with the creaming. Add 30 grams of butter, stirring the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice creamy mixture, add the grated Parmesan cheese and continue stirring vigorously until all ingredients are perfectly incorporated. Cover the pan with a tea towel and let it rest for 1 minute.

Serve the risotto on hot plates and distribute some very thin slices of Jerusalem artichoke cut with a mandoline, Parmesan shavings and a few cubes of beetroot on the surface.

Il risotto cremoso alla barbabietola pronto per essere gustato

Creamy beetroot risotto ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Creamy beetroot risotto

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

Easter is getting close, so here is a great traditional classic your family lunch: Easter pie.
Let’s say that it is also the perfect solution to get children to eat vegetables without boring them. Our version does not include egg in the filling as a blending ingredient, as it is used hard boiled to be seen when slices are cut.

Easter pie

19.37g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 510 g brisée pastry** (corresponding to almost 2 rolls of ready made gluten free Buitoni Brisée Pastry)
  • 500g mixed leafy greens
  • 310g ricotta cheese
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 130g string beans
  • 100g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • salt and egg for brushing

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

Preparation

  1. Blanch the greens and spinach in two non-stick frying pans with a little oil and just the water remaining after washing the vegetables. Allow the water to evaporate well or remove it before chopping the vegetables.
  2. Boil the string beans in salted water, drain and cut into pieces.
    Place chopped greens and spinach in a bowl, add the string beans, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts; finally, season with salt.
  3. Roll out a thin disc of dough on a sheet of parchment paper to cover a 24cm diameter tin, leaving a few centimetres of dough around the edge. Pour in some of the filling and place the 4 peeled hard-boiled eggs in the shape of an X, staying 3-4 cm from the centre (think about how the slices will be cut so that the whole egg can be seen), cover with the remaining filling and try to lightly level everything out; then cover with a second disc then, with the help of a fork, fold the edges, seal them and pierce the surface.
  4. Brush with a little beaten egg.
    Bake the Easter pie in a static oven preheated to 200°C for about 20 minutes until the surface is golden brown.

torta-pasqualina-gluten-free-uno-chef-per-gaia

Version with gluten of Easter pie

Replace gluten-free brisée with standard brisée.