Friday, March 16, 2012

Gluten free and delicious #2: Parmesan tomato and tuna risotto cake

As I mentioned in my banana bread post, I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Coeliac Australia's recipe book and a basket of ingredients in order to trial two recipes for Coeliac Awareness Week.

The banana bread continues to be a huge hit - C and I made it again on Tuesday afternoon, in fact, and there was none left by Wednesday night. Freeze, schmeeze - it has no chance of ever making it that far around here :-)

My second recipe was a savoury one, and I wasn't, to be honest, sure what the family would make of it. I opted to cook the Parmesan, Tomato and Tuna Risotto Cake, because my family have never been willing to eat tuna but they do like risotto generally, and I am searching for more inexpensive fish meals to put into our regular menu. (They all like salmon fillets and barramundi, but we can't eat like that every night!) Tuna casserole was a total flop, and fish pie, which was a modified success (3 out of 5 liked it, 1 ate it reluctantly, only 1 refused it outright) is incredibly fiddly and time-consuming to make.

Here is the recipe, reproduced from the Coeliac Australia cookbook, Gluten Free Recipes, with permission.


50g butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups short grain rice (I used medium)
1 x 250g can tuna in brine
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
5 1/2 cups hot gluten free chicken stock
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano
2 tsp dried oregano
shavings of cheese to top
(The instructions say serve with salad, but as my kids won't eat salad, I served it with baked veggies).


1. Melt butter in a large saucepan and saute onion. Add rice and tuna and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 cup stock, stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed.

2. Continue to stir, gradually adding remaining stock until all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked (approx 15 mins).

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding beaten eggs, cheese and oregano.

4. Pour mixture into a buttered and lined 20cm spring-form pan. (Or regular one if, like me, you don't own a spring-form :-) Bake at 200C for 40 min or until set.

Allow to cool slightly before taking out of tin. Cut into wedges, top with shaved parmesan or romano, and serve with side dishes.

Well, the recipe worked - the cake cooked and set, and sliced quite well. It smelled and looked appetising. But the million dollar question is, of course - did they eat it?

Husband loved it. He's requested it again next week.

I liked it. I wouldn't say it's a favourite dish, but I'd happily eat it on a semi-regular basis.

C, aged 3, scoffed all hers and asked for more. She was a huge fan.

A, aged 8.5, approached hers cautiously, but ruled it "not bad" and ate 3/4 of her portion.

E, aged almost 7, hated it. HATED it. She couldn't manage more than two bites. I thought this might happen; it's not a fault of the recipe, it's just that E does not do well with very "fishy" fish, and, other flavours notwithstanding, this is a very tuna-tasting meal.

Still, that's not a bad outcome - I can make this one again for the four of us who ate it and just give E a substitute protein (usually poached eggs) on the night. I certainly think it's a recipe worth trying for a relatively cheap, tasty, gluten free family dinner.

Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy of Coeliac Australia's cookbook, and a basket containing all the ingredients for two recipes, by Porter Novelli on behalf of Coeliac Australia, with the understanding that I would trial two recipes during Coeliac Awareness Week. No payment was offered nor accepted for this process, and all views (and cooking mishaps!) are entirely my own.


  1. This looks tasty, although I'm not sure I'd like it with the tuna. I do like tinned tuna, but in small amounts only. I wonder how it would work with chicken mince substituted.

  2. Oh, chicken mince is an excellent idea, V. I reckon it'd work very well, or even with pork mince (I wouldn't use a red meat though). I might try it that way next time myself :-)