Rice salads are the summer dish par excellence, easy to prepare, light, delicate, a must for summer evenings, or for light lunches. But light does not mean not very tasty, there are in fact some simple tricks to follow that allow you to transform a normal rice salad into a tasty dish. For a more exotic version, you can make a Venus rice salad or an avocado and shrimp rice salad.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 pot of 2/3 lt
- 1 colander / strainer
- 1 cutting board
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 wooden / silicone spoon
- 160 grams of basmati rice
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of large green olives in brine
- 1 80 g can of tuna (natural or in oil according to your taste)
- 5-6 Pachino tomatoes
- 2-3 cardamom seeds (optional)
- 1 buffalo mozzarella (to be replaced with feta for a lighter and tastier version)
- 1 lemon / lime
Which wine to pair with: I recommend that you combine rice salads with an Oltrepò Pavese Cortese wine, a white with a dry and soft flavor that, thanks to its freshness and liveliness, goes perfectly with these dishes.
The preparation of rice salads is very easy, first, let’s dedicate ourselves to cooking rice. Since this is a dish that will be eaten cold, do not underestimate the type of rice you will use, often for rice salads they use ride parboiled because it always remains al dente and does not overcook … try replacing it with aromatic rice such as basmati rice or long brown rice and feel in your simple rice salad an explosion of flavors and aromas that you have never heard before!
Put a saucepan with salted water on the fire and bring to a boil, when the water boils, pour the rice and cook. Unlike the classic risotto, boiled rice needs space to move and plenty of water or it will tend to merge and the final result may be less “grainy” than you wanted.
To highlight the scent and taste of basmati rice you can add 2-3 cardamom seeds which will give even more sprint to the rice during cooking. It’s an optional addition, try if you like the result and then decide!
While the water and rice are cooking, you have from 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the type of rice you have decided to use) to dedicate yourself to dressing our salad. Cutting the vegetables might seem negligible but for a good result, this also counts … the first tip it takes a few seconds to cut the olives .. not long but in slices, and the final appearance of the rice salad will be completely different.
In a large bowl, add the drained tuna and olives, add a tablespoon of oil and mix well. Chapter tuna, if you are in a hurry use the canned one, if you want a tastier taste and tuna fillets in your salad use the one under glass which remains in larger blocks and less crumbled than the canned one.
Let’s dedicate ourselves to mozzarella/feta cheese, cut it into cubes and let it drain on kitchen paper so that it loses the excess liquid.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into wedges and add them to the tuna, olives, and mozzarella/feta.
To have a good rice salad you need to have an acidic and refreshing note, in the basic version (Without pickles) I recommend using lemon juice, but to have an extra sprint you can replace the lemon juice/line with cubes of very thin lemon and grated zest (peel) this will increase both the scent and the flavor. In fact, the lemon cubes under your teeth will burst to release freshness and taste, you don’t need that many, just two slices of lemon cut into cubes: be careful not to put the white part that is bitter only the “pulp” of the lemon.
At this point the rice should be ready, with the help of a colander or a colander, filter it and put it under cold running water. This step is used to stop the rice from cooking and to shell it so that the grains will be single and not merged. Continue to wet with cold water until the rice is well shelled and at room temperature.
Drain the excess water and combine in the bowl with the other ingredients, mix evenly, taste and if necessary adjust to taste (lemon)
Your rice salad is ready!
Tips for serving :
Use a summer dish that brings out the colors to serve rice salads, even a simple white dish is fine. If you want you can decorate with basil leaves, chopped by hand, or with fresh coriander coarsely cut with a knife.
What do you think of this recipe? Do you have any other tips or suggestions to add? You just have to cook it and let me know all your comments!
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