Italian rice salad

Insalata di riso

The rice salad is a beautiful solution for a fresh summer lunch or dinner with friends. You can prepare it much in advance and keep it in the fridge. It is what we call in Italian a “piatto unico”, which means that a portion of it gives you all elements you need from a complete meal.

The Italian rice salad, the Spanish paella, the North-African cous cous, and the taboulè are dishes that have a common denominator, a common origin, which is the Arab Islamic tradition and that have developed in the different regions according to the local available or traditional products.

Nice thing is that, once you have cooked the rice, you can dress it and add to it the ingredients that you like most. Anyway to prepare an Italian style rice salad this is my recipe.

Ingredients for 5 persons
500 gr. rice  (use preferably parboiled rice or long-grain)
200 gr. string bean
200 gr. small artichokes (fresh or frozen)
180 gr. canned meat tuna in olive oil
300 gr.  tomatoes diced
200 gr. hard cheese (asiago or provola)
200 gr. canned sweet corn
200 gr.  canned pickles (drained)
a handful green or black olives
a bunch arugula to taste
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
the juice of 1 lemon

Cook the rice and let it cool. Chop and dice all ingredients in small pieces and cubes. Put the rice in a large bowl, add all ingredients but the tomatoes and arugula, and mix well. Dress with the olive oil and the lemon juice, adjust of salt and mix again. Make a layer with the arugula and the tomatoes on the rice and put the salad in the fridge for one hour before eating.

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