Light, nutritious and colourful… All you’d want on a hot summer’s day.
Fresh salads, marinated vegetables and grills are all I want to eat in the summer as I can’t be bothered to spend too much time over the stove. The rice salad is a very popular summer dish in Italy and everyone makes their own version depending on what they have on hand. There is always a mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables and some pickled ones which gives the salad a pleasant vinegary, briny taste that you find in preserved vegetables. You can make it richer and more nutritious by adding cooked chicken, cubed ham or sausage. It can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal or as a side to grilled meat and fish. What I love most about it is that changing the ingredients each time you can create different flavour combinations.
As I said you can be very adventurous and make your rice salad any way you like, here I’ll be telling you how I made it today. I like mine with a big variety of ingredients so there will be a little chopping involved :):)
- 350 gr long grain rice, basmati would be perfect
- 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
- 2 cucumber, about 4 inches each
- 1 bell pepper, red yellow or green
- ⅔ cup fresh or frozen peas (100 gr)
- 1 freshly cooked corn on the cob
- 8-10 pickled cornichons
- 1 can of tuna, drained
- 2-3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 Tbs of finely chopped parsley
- ½ cup sliced olives
- 1 fresh mozzarella ball, cubed
- extra vergin olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Cook peas for 5 minutes in salted water, put aside to cool.
- You can cook the rice in the same water for 13-15 minutes, checking it's doneness towards the end as not all rice take the same time to cook. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and leave to cool completely.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the corn from the cob. If using canned, rinse and drain.
- Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and the cornichons into similar size cubes and place in a bowl with the rice.
- Throw in the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle as much olive oil as you like and toss gently to combine everything.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
You can add some lemon juice or vinegar to the dressing.
The rice can be cooked in chicken or vegetable broth.
Leave out the tuna and you have yourself a vegetarian dish.
You can make it with leftover rice.