First Courses Vegetables Ricotta

Millet with Almond Ricotta: The Tempting Vegan Dish by Chef Marzia Riva

copertina marzia riva storia del medterraneo miglio con ricotta veg

A unique summer dish inspired by the Middle Eastern tabbouleh but made with the most resilient African grain, millet, and lupini beans, the "traveler's protein" of the Roman legions. To finish, an almond ricotta that pays homage to Moorish cuisine.

Ingredients for 3/4 servings:

For Millet pilaf

  • 200g of hulled millet
  • 400-500ml of hot water
  • Extra virgin olive oil



It's useful to rinse the millet well and, if desired, lightly toast the grains before cooking it as a "pilaf." In a large pot, after lightly toasting the millet, add twice the amount of hot water, and cook over high heat until it boils. Skim the foam and finish cooking by sealing the pot tightly with a lid or cloth. Continue cooking on low heat for 20-25 minutes without stirring; the grains will be cooked when they are plump and separated. At the end of cooking, check and let it rest covered for another 5-10 minutes; then cool it down to 4 °C and separate the grains well before storing or seasoning.

For Almond Ricotta Rosé:

  • 200g of peeled almonds
  • 1 liter of water
  • 65g of lemon juice
  • Beetroot juice
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper



Blend the peeled almonds with water in a blender until the pulp is almost gone, and you obtain a dense white "milk." Then, strain the almond "milk" well using a chinois to completely remove any pulp residue. Transfer the "milk" to a saucepan and, over low heat, bring it to a boil. Add beetroot juice and lemon, mix well, and turn off the heat. Allow the almond proteins and fats to coagulate for about 20-30 minutes. Then, using cheesecloth, strain the "whey" for 20-30 minutes to obtain a solid pink almond ricotta, which can be kept for longer based on the desired consistency. Taste and adjust with salt, oil, and pepper. Transfer to a piping bag and store at 4 °C until ready to assemble the dish.

For rose and hibiscus sauce:

  • Dried hibiscus petals
  • Fresh "edible" rose petals
  • Citrus peels of choice
  • Cornstarch



Prepare a hot infusion of hibiscus and rose petals with the addition of citrus peels, removing the albedo. Let it infuse for 5-6 hours, strain, and add 2g of cornstarch per 100ml of rose infusion, avoiding the formation of lumps. Transfer to a saucepan and thicken the sauce over very low heat until it becomes shiny and fluid while retaining its fragrances and color.


  • 250g of blanched snow peas
  • 200g of fennel hearts
  • 150g of peeled lupini in brine
  • 150g of fresh scallions
  • Mixed aromatic herbs
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper



Dice the fennel hearts and fresh scallions finely; thinly slice the snow peas; create a lupini tartare by chopping the peeled lupini. In a large bowl, mix the diced vegetables, lupini tartare, and millet pilaf. Mix everything well and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. In a flat plate, using two concentric rings, create a ring with the seasoned millet; decorate the ring with tufts of almond ricotta rosé and optionally with herbs and/or flowers. Finally, pour the rose and hibiscus sauce at the center of the ring and serve.

Meet Marzia Riva

Cook and teacher of high plant-based cuisine and well-being, a personal chef for private and corporate events, and a consultant in the field of plant-based cooking. After a twenty-year experience in Human Resources, she graduated from the Joia Academy of High Cuisine, led by Chef Pietro Leemann, where she was a teacher, school manager, and handled external relations. She has also collaborated with Simone Salvini, Funny Veg, and Cucina Naturale. With the project "La Taverna degli Arna" since 2012, she has created a place for communication, information, socializing, well-being, and culture around food with the intention of taking care of people.

La taverna degli Arna 


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