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Summer rice salad (Insalata di Riso)


INSALATA DI RISO (RICE SALAD)

by Sunday At the Giacometti's on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 12:01pm
This wonderful Summertime salad is good anytime~It's perfect for your indoor- outdoor picnic. My husbands mother made it for me for the first time on a picnic near San Benedetto, Italy. Her version included meat . I like to make my seafood version, every chance I get.~  When it comes to Summertime, the possibilities are endless!
For 8-10 people
2 cups uncooked long grain rice/ cooked until al dente, about 11 minutes from the time the water begins to boil~drain and rinse under cool water and pat dry and fluff with fork/ set aside
2 stalks celery/peel the strings away and chop fine
2  -8 oz jars marinated artichokes (if you can get freshly marinated  in vinegar even better, we can not in my area) Drained.
1 can of black olives pitted/drained
1 pound calamari rings freshly cut and  blanched for 3-4 minutes
1 pund  large, cleaned deveined shirmp, tails off/ blanched until cooked/ cooled and set aside
1 large can of Italian tuna under olive oil / drained. (1 pound can) (optional)  See additional notes on bottom
3 tablespoons piemento
3 tablespoons salted capers
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup mayonaisse (optional, if you choose not to use it, you will need to increase both your olive oil and lemon juice by 1/4 cup each).
20 asparagus tips, blanched in water  until bright green in color and still somewhat crispy.  Drain and cool
1 cup fresh green peas blanched and cooled (optional)
1/2 cup of chopped, fresh parsely.  I like to leave mine in larger pieces
optional/ 1 cup of blanched baby carrots blanched/(Optional)
About one large lemon, sliced, be sure and remove pits and set aside.
Method:
Into a large bowl enough to accommodate your completed salad, add your cooked and cooled  rice. Blanch and cool your shirmp and calamari. (They require different cooking time so please cook them seperatly).  Begin to add your celery, artichokes, black olives, calamari, shirmp, piemento, capers, and lemon juice/ Mix well, but gently.  Add your sliced lemons across the top/ cover.   Add your sliced lemons across the top/ cover and leave in refrigerator overnight.  The next day about 1 hour before serving add your blanched asparagus/ peas/ carrots and your optional Tuna.  Add your olive oil/Mayo.  Add fresh parsley.    Mix well and chill again. Serve as a side dish or as a main course.  The dish is quite substantial and goes a long way and is even better left over the next day.  ~ Buon Appetito~

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