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Insalata di Riso 

Ciao Amici,

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful summer and keeping cool.

My method of escaping stinking hot NYC has been weekend trips to the beach, and I haven’t been this many times in one summer since I lived in Rome and frequently took the train to Lido di Ostia. While New York beaches aren’t comparable to the Mediterranean, it will just have to do for now.

Laying in the sun and fighting the Atlantic waves can really build up a hunger. What are your favorite beach snacks?

As Ferragosto (the Italian summer holiday on August 15th) approaches, I’m reminded of a ubiquitous Italian picnic/potluck dish: Insalata di Riso. Full disclosure: I never really liked it that much and I was forced to eat it more times than I can count out of respect for the cook or lack of options.

But Insalata di riso a part of Italian summer culture, thus worth trying! It’s a simple dish with flexible ingredients, a sort of “clean out the fridge” rice salad. Here’s the basic recipe, the amounts are based on your taste and preference and variations are welcomed!

Insalata di Riso

Mix together the following in a large bowl:

· 2 cups Arborio rice – this is risotto rice but cook it just until the grains are soft (5 minutes in boiling water), drain and let cool in the fridge.

· Cherry tomatoes cut in half

· Prosciutto cotto or a couple hot dogs, sliced

· 1 chopped red bell pepper

· 1 chopped yellow bell pepper

· Olives, black or green

· One can of tuna in oil

· Soft cheese such as mozzarella or Swiss cheese, cubed

· Peas and corn thawed in hot water

· Pickles, capers or cocktail onions

· Hard boiled eggs cut in quarters

· Basil or parsley

· Mayonnaise

· Salt

What do you think about this recipe? Some may see it as a light, fresh summer snack while others may think it’s a “kitchen sink” salad. Wherever your opinion falls, give it a try! Pairs well with any light, crisp Italian white wine.

Buon appetito! Lisa


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