Rice can be eaten cold, really. During the summer. As a salad. As in “Insalata di Riso”, made with Italian rices not basmati or Thai jasmine rice. The idea is to add all kinds of bits and pieces — vegetables, pickles, wurstel, tuna — using the rice as a base to encompass it all, and some people even add mayonnaise. Sometimes the insalate di riso end up being such a hotch potch of ingredients that my nose automatically wrinkles up in disdain but I definitely like the idea of the insalata di riso as summer fare, when the heat is such that the palate yearns for something a little less forceful by way of taste.
The following ‘insalata di riso con seppioline e piselli’ is made using frozen peas and frozen cuttle fish.
Boil the rice in plenty of water (no need to salt the water) and then drain.
Rinse the cuttle fish hundreds of times in plenty of cold water (well, maybe not hundreds of times but at least about 10 — that’s in order to get rid of any ‘stuff’ that they use to keep frozen food in decent shape (something akin to ammonia I believe).
Put the cooked rice in a large bowl … season with salt and drizzle olive oil (plenty of it!) and squeeze the juice of half a lemon, more if you like. Combine well so that all the rice is coated with this fresh, zesty dressing. (Please excuse the above photo … the lemon looks more like an orange and the rice covered in olive oil doesn’t look none too enticing either … sigh).
Now add the peas and cuttle fish and combine with the rice.
Taste and make sure the seasoning is right (a little bit more salt or lemon juice or olive oil). Place the bowl in the fridge if you are going to eat it later in the day. For those who like garnishes, maybe fresh mint leaves would go nicely.
Enjoy. It is simple to make, unfussy to look at … and surprisingly more-ish.
I came across the following today and it is very much in keeping with what I wrote so I think I would like to add it to my this post:
|Insalata di Riso – THE Summer Italian Dish
Posted: 04 Sep 2012 06:26 AM PDT
It has been ages since we made insalata di riso. In fact, the last time any of us can actually remember making this dish was in Italy which is frankly absurd since we all consider insalata di riso to be a quintessential summertime dish. In fact, while we were preparing our rice salad today at Gustiamo, Beatrice told us that she remembers her childhood summers in Italy always including a big bowl of insalata di riso on standby in the fridge for quick lunches in between trips to the seaside. Like most Italians, for us, the thought of eating something hot for lunch in the middle of August is totally unbearable.
Today, we combined Vialone Nano Rice by Gazzani which we had simply steamed last night with a jar of Antipasto in Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Maida Farm. We love our Madia producer for many reasons, but this vegetable antipasto has especially captured our hearts for two:
1. The Madia vegetable Antipasto is always different! Each glass jar contains a different vegetable medley based on what is ready to be picked during the week that farmer Francesco Vastola is harvesting. 2. These vegetables “sott’olio” are conserved under extra virgin olive oil that farmer Francesco makes himself! In the words of Beatrice, as she mixed the vegetables into the rice, “Produced more locally than that… you die.” The Maida antipasto that we used today featured: eggplants, bell peppers, baby artichokes, celery, and olives to which we added some leftover zucchini as well has hard-boiled eggs and some of those fresh New York tomatoes that everyone seems to be celebrating recently. Here is the link to the Gustiamo official recipe.
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