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Ricetta Insalata di riso (Summer Rice Salad)

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Mid-August, when the temperatures climb to tropical heights, is a time when the enthusiasm of even the most avid cook can begin to wane. Italians often turn to easily prepared dishes that need minimal or no actually cooking. Salads are an obvious choice, and rice salads are a favorite. Not only are they delicious, but they are easy to prepare, adaptable to just about whatever happens to be in the cupboard and can be easily made ahead—which makes them perfect picnic or summer buffet food.

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  1. Begin by boiling your rice al dente. It will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to boil your rice, depending on the variety of rice you use; rice cooks more quickly when boiled in abundant water than for a risotto. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse it quickly under cold water to stop the cooking. Give it a good shake or two to get out all the water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Then add your choice of condiments from your pantry. My favorite is based on tuna fish, which you add to the boiled rice together with a handful of capers, some chopped gerkins and a handful of olives (green and/or black, as you prefer). I sometimes add some chopped anchovies as well. Some people add even more ingredients, usually pickled onions or pimentos, or both. Today I had some mozzarella on hand, so I chopped that into cubes and added it, too.
  3. Finish off with some chopped parsley for color, a good drizzling of olive oil, salt, pepper and some freshly squeezed lemon juice—just enough to 'brighten' the dish. Mix gently but well with a spatula until the ingredients are evenly mixed. (Try not to break up the tuna completely—it's nicest with little chunks here and there, I find.) You can serve the salad immediately, but it develops flavor if you let it rest for an hour or more.
  4. Rice salad can be made as much as a day ahead—in which case, leave it in the fridge, of course, and take it out about an hour ahead so it returns to room temperature. Before serving, you may want to 'refresh' the salad with a bit more oil and lemon juice before serving.


Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Recipe %DV
Recipe Size 226g
Calories 436  
Calories from Fat 34 8%
Total Fat 3.83g 5%
Saturated Fat 0.63g 3%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 321mg 13%
Potassium 282mg 8%
Total Carbs 90.58g 24%
Dietary Fiber 3.7g 12%
Sugars 4.6g 3%
Protein 8.49g 14%
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  • Laura Pazzaglia
    18 Agosto 2010
    Looks delicious! Hey.. what is a Cornichon?
    2 risposte
    • Frank Fariello
      19 Agosto 2010
      Thanks! Cornichons are called gherkins in English, cetriolini in Italian.
      1 risposta
      • Laura Pazzaglia
        19 Agosto 2010
        Thanks for the explination. Compliments to the chef, photographer and on your beautiful collection of Ricco Deruta plates!

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