‘Insalata di Riso’ (rice salad) is an informal Italian dish that is especially popular in the summer as an appetizer or as a refreshing first course, particularly for lunch. Its main component is Parboiled rice, which is the most appropriate for this preparation as its grains remain firm and separated when cooked, and stay soft when they get cold. The cooled rice is lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice and flavored with a variety of add-ins, according to personal preference, but also following the tradition.
- 1 cup parboiled rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 100 g mild cheese (Fontina, Montasio, Raclette, Gouda), cubed
- ½ cup Italian pickled cucumbers (no dill and no garlic!)
- ½ cup Italian mixed 'sottaceti' (vinegar-preserved vegetables, e.g.: peppers, corn, capers, carrots, olives, fennel, artichokes)
- ¼ cup sliced olives
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- the juice of 1 lemon
- pickled 'cipolline' (small onions), halved
- pickled bell peppers, cut in small pieces
- tuna in olive oil, crushed
- ham, diced
- cold roast beef or chicken, cut in small pieces
- Boil or steam the rice then spread it over a cloth and let it cool down, by the end the rice should be dry and fluffy.
- Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs and cook the peas, then let them also cool down.
- Move the rice into a bowl (fig. 1) and gently mix in the olive oil. Gather the pickled veggies (fig. 2).
- Gather peas, eggs (fig. 3) and diced cheese (fig. 4).
- Mix all of the add-ins together with the rice, then stir in the lemon juice.
- Adjust the salt and let the salad rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.