A dynamic dish
When it comes to “primi piatti”, you usually get a bowl of pasta, rice or soup. Sometimes I find this kind of plating rather boring since there is a lack of motion on the dish. There isn’t much fun unless you add a component that will make your guests have fun while eating the dish. Some say “food enters through the eyes”; I say that food can be fun if you can make it dynamic by letting your guest “play” with it.
The following is a recipe I did last week using two different kinds of rice: basmati and wild. Combining the perfumed basmati rice with the nutty flavor of wild rice, gives good results in terms of contrasting textures and aromas. I added some steamed shrimp to give substance to the dish. To give freshness, I added diced vegetables (zucchini and cherry tomatoes) and herbs (basil, mint and parsley). To add creaminess, I used soft goat cheese that pairs really well with shrimp (Have you ever tried the Greek recipe baked shrimp with Feta cheese?). Finally, I took the dripping juices from combining tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs, and put them into shot glasses.
– 1 ½ cup basmati rice
– 1 ½ cup wild rice
– 1 cup steamed shrimp and cut into pieces (leave some shrimp for garnish)
– 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
– 1 ½ cup diced zucchini
– Some herbs (basil, mint and parsley)
– Spreadable goat cheese
– 1 garlic clove
– Olive oil
– Lemon juice
– Salt to taste
– Crushed green peppercorns
- Cook basmati and wild rice under package instructions.
- Combine diced cherry tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs (leave some for the rice) in a bowl. Set aside and leave for about 10 – 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and keep it. Discard garlic.
- Using a pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add diced zucchinis. Cook them until golden.
- Combine rice, shrimp, vegetables, the rest of herbs, olive oil, and salt.
- To plate the dish, put the rice mixture into a small bowl pressing down to firm it up and place it in the middle of a rectangular dish.
- Make a quenelle of cheese and place it on one corner
- Pour the liquid of tomato mixture into a small glass and place it on the other corner of the dish.
- Garnish with some shrimp on top (optional)
- Sprinkle with crushed green peppercorns.
…and have fun mixing all three items of the dish!!!