Posted by: lisetta | July 1, 2008

Insalata di riso

What started out as a promise ended in failure. Had plans to head out to the Mann tonight for a picnic dinner, and thought I’d make a simple summertime favorite: zucchini frittata. Woke up early this morning to make it, sauteed the zukes and onion, mixed the eggs with parmigiano and poured it into my 8″ All-Clad when I realized I hadn’t used the non-stick. With arrogance, I figured I could make it work anyway; the pan is well-seasoned (have had it for more than a decade) and I used plenty of olive oil. I was oh-so-wrong. While the eggs were cooking, they weren’t congealing into a solid piece. I figured I could salvage it by flipping it right into another pan, but the said flip couldn’t happen when its bottom was sticking to the pan. It was too far gone. Drat! I ended up with a big plate of vegetable-scrambled eggs (which I’ll now eat for breakfast for the next few days).

Determined not to begin my day with a failure, I instead made a no-fail insalata di riso. Chose the version Carla used to make: corn and tuna. 

Insalata di Riso

  • Cook some rice. (I used basmati.) Let it cool a bit and put it in a bowl. 
  • Cook some corn on the cob, slice off the kernels and put them in the bowl with the rice. 
  • Open a can of tuna and flake it into the same bowl. 
  • Add olive oil, black pepper and a splash of white wine vinegar (or white balsamic) to taste. 

That’s it. This one, admittedly, isn’t very colorful, but I can assure you that the taste and texture are pleasing. Rice salads are a popular summertime dish in Italy. Giuseppe used to make his with hot dogs, boiled eggs, mozzarella cheese, giardiniera (pickled vegetables), tuna, and, oh my gosh, I’ve forgotten what else. It was a huge hit at our summertime bashes. Remember choosing it when I catered Jack’s graduation party – and then inviting grad students over to eat it for days afterwards! LOL. Rice salad as social currency. Who knew?

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