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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


  1. Cook basmati and wild rice under package instructions.
  2. 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.
  3. Using a pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add diced zucchinis. Cook them until golden.
  4. Combine rice, shrimp, vegetables, the rest of herbs, olive oil, and salt.


  1. 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.
  2. Make a quenelle of cheese and place it on one corner
  3. Pour the liquid of tomato mixture into a small glass and place it on the other corner of the dish.
  4. Garnish with some shrimp on top (optional)
  5. Sprinkle with crushed green peppercorns.

…and have fun mixing all three items of the dish!!!

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. That is a lovely conception. The shot glass of the juices is a top idea. Very cool presentation. Nice one.

    July 17, 2012
  2. Thank you Roger! It is fun and easy to make!

    July 17, 2012
  3. It looks absolutely stunning and i love the juices in the shot glass. Bet it tasted amazing!

    July 17, 2012
    • Thank you Chica!! Yes, when you mix it all up, it tastes good!!

      July 17, 2012
  4. This is most certainly not boring. I love how you plated it. Beautiful recipe!

    July 17, 2012
    • Thank you Greg!! I am glad you liked it!! 🙂

      July 17, 2012
  5. Beautiful and appetizing! Very nice, Ambrosiana!

    July 17, 2012
  6. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Sounds delicious.

    July 18, 2012
  7. This looks wonderful, Ambrosiana, and certainly meets your criteria of adding fun to your primi piatti. It must make quite an impression when you serve it to your guests. It sure is impressive here! Brava!

    July 18, 2012
    • Thank you John! Indeed, it is another way of making your guest “participate” in giving the finishing touch to the dish and they have fun while eating it!

      July 18, 2012
  8. I really loved the way you broke down the dish and explained the reason behind every component..I think your plating is beautiful

    July 18, 2012
    • Thank you Sawsan!! I really enjoy cooking and sharing the process with you who are food lovers!!

      July 18, 2012
  9. What a lovely way to eat. And your way of cooking and having some fun is great too. Like everyone else I just love the shot glass!

    July 18, 2012
    • Thank you. I never though the shot glass was going to be a hit!

      July 21, 2012
  10. A very nice primi piatti and beautifully presented. Very clever to use the juices to serve in a shot glass…restaurant quality.

    July 19, 2012
    • Thank you Karen! Coming from you it is a great compliment!!!

      July 21, 2012
  11. So beautiful, i often serve my rice like this because i am a horror for making sticky rice and shaping it saves the meal, but this raises the bar somewhat, I love the fun in it and i know i am late but welcome back! c

    July 21, 2012
    • Thank you Cecilia!! Indeed, it is a good plating idea for sticky rice!!

      July 22, 2012
  12. All of my favorite ingredients are in this dish!

    July 21, 2012
  13. omg… sounds just delicous!!
    Have to try this! : )
    Thanks for sharing. : )


    August 1, 2012

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