September 14, 2007

Gluten-Free Lunch

With guests at lunch, such as our own Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef,
to inspire us in cooking class,
one of my old favorites, became a new favorite

Chicchi a fabulous recipe from Umbria using chickpeas and farro
becomes gluten-free using Riso Venere, or Forbidden Rice*.

The texture and flavor of the rice was a perfect marriage
with the chickpeas and the white truffles.

Perfect for celebrating the honey-mooners.

Any reason to celebrate deserves this dish, with or without truffles.

you only live once

Pretend you are Italian and in the kitchen with me, no cookbooks, no measuring cups, just friends hanging out. Here is what we made.

First cook Riso Venere:
(I use Italian Antica Pila Vecia,from the Ferron family)
Boil the rice in plenty of salted water until tender, 30-40 minutes.

In a large saucepan, cover the bottom of the pot with extra virgin olive oil.
Add sliced garlic and some crushed chili peppers and heat the pan.

When the garlic begins to sizzle, add cherry tomatoes, sliced in half and raise the heat.
Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Add some basil leaves, just torn with your hands.

Drain a can of chickpeas, and rinse them off.
Add to the pan.

Add the drained Riso Venere (forbidden rice)

Stir well to mix all the ingredients.

Add a whole jar (30 grams) or sliced truffles and the liquid in the jar.
Stir and serve!

*Forbidden rice an evocative name, with elusive history.
Was it forbidden to the people and saved only for the Emperor in China?
Here in Italy, it is called Riso Venere, Venus, named for it's beauty?

By any other name... still favorite!

I loved it so much I made it again today ( Tuesday) to take another foto
to showthe rice grains closer.
They lose the dark black in the cooking water and become a deep red.


  1. Elizabeth11:32 PM

    Looks good! Curious, though. Why "forbidden"? I thought "venere" refers to beauty and relates to venerating Venezia's beloved Venus as opposed to things vietato?

  2. Wow. How intriguing! Is that a black or wild rice? I love the names that Italians give to their foods. X

  3. Very nice! What doesn't taste good with a bunch of truffles all over it? Says she who can hardly afford them wholesale from the neighbor-hunters.

    I suspect the Venere alludes to some imagined Viagra-like properties! They've got a bunch of them here.

  4. Love your blog. My good friend Ann is on her way to your cooking school right fact, she may have already arrived. I can't wait to hear about her experience....the markets must be wonderful, and the porcinis are in season!!!!!!! I hope she brings a package (dried, of course) home to me!

  5. To me, the rice is long and black, very sexy!!!

    Sort of the naomi campbell of rice.

    I will ask Gabrielle if he named it as he was the first producer in Italy to grow it. He travels a lot to teach Italian rice cooking classes, and has taught in China, so he also learns!

  6. Judy - what a great post! I love the way you described your cooking style. Generally we try and cook like that as well - just toos whatever looks or feels good into the pot and enjoy it at the other end.

    The black rice you describe sounds like our Wild Rice. Is it similar?

  7. ok I lied!
    It is not long like Naomi!

    The rice is shorter than American wild rice, which I was told was not really a rice.

    I find wild rice nuttier.

    I highly recommend trying the rice as it is fabulous.
    I may make it again today I loved it so much and want to take a better foto!