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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kitchen Sink Rice Salad

Why am I calling this recipe "Kitchen Sink Rice Salad"? Because it is so easy to make and I put everything I have in the kitchen into the recipe with the exception of the kitchen sink.

Rice salad is a popular dish in Italy. It starts to show up around spring time here in Torino when spring peas and super fresh and tender veggies pop up at the market. I had a friend over for lunch yesterday and decided to clean out the fridge and make something very tasty at the same time. Rice salad was a natural choice.

Rice Salad
(this amount serves 4 as a side dish)

1 C. uncooked arborio/carnaroli rice

To cook the rice:

Cook rice with 1.5 C. water and pinch of salt until al dente and not mushy, leave the lid off during the cooking so the rice does not absorb too much water. You can whole intact grains of rice so don't stir too much. When the rice is done let cool. Alternatively, you can saute rice in a bit of olive oil before cooking.

Assembly of the salad:

Note: All these ingredients are merely suggestions

Add the following ingredients to the cooled rice:

1 T. chopped capers
2 T. chopped olives, green or black or both
1/2 C. fresh/frozen peas and carrots, both blanched and cooled
1/2-1 C. cubed ham, turkey or mortadella
1/2 C. or more, quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 C. diced cucumber or fennel
1/4 C. diced red or white onion
2-4 T. chopped herbs, dill, parsley, mint or combinations of all
1/2 C. cubed hard cheese, such as Swiss, Provolone, Parmigiano, or a combination
hard boiled egg is a common garnish

Combine all of the ingredients and dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve room temp. or chilled a bit.

I can eat mounds of this salad.

All contents copyright 2004-2006.
All rights reserved.


At 2:42 AM, Blogger Ms Adventures in Italy said...

hahaa, we are both writing about the kitchen sink and cleaning out the fridge today...I saw your post moments before mine! Thank goodness I didn't include my rice salad pic, too.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Sara said...

I like easy. I like fresh. I like fast. I especially like rice and lemons. I'm going to try this this week, but maybe with some shrimp instead. Roasted pepper. Mmm.

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Ivonne said...

Beautiful salad!

I make something similar in the summer. And you're right it's a good way to use the ingredients in the refrigerator!

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Bryan and Autumn said...

I usually don't like this kind of salad, but yours looks really good. Where the heck do you find dill? I can't find it anywhere here! I always have to have it sent from the U.S.
Take care,

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Gia-Gina said...

Hi Autumn,
I am growing dill in a measley balcony plant box but it is thriving so is my cilantro. I love having the herbs at arms reach Dill is impossible to find in Torino so is tarragon. Once is a while I see it at the market but rarely. Try growing some from seed, they are super easy.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous stacy said...

We love this salad. It is my husbands absolute favorite and always reminds him of home. Usually fix a HUGE bowl and eat it for a week =)

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

looks great, gia! i will have to try this! nice photo!


At 12:08 PM, Blogger Dianka said...

This salad looks perfect for summer! So light and pretty!


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Gia,
I have been surfing for a rice salad recipe. I love the photo and I like the kitchen sink description.
Cathy, USA


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