My mom was flipping through an old issue of Food & Wine magazine (September 2007) when she discovered this rice salad recipe. It calls for Arborio rice, but instead of preparing it as you would for risotto, with the endless stirring and ladeling, the rice is boiled like pasta. Simple.
Studded with olives, sweet cherry peppers, and capers, it’s the ideal accompaniment to Marcella Hazan’s recipe for marinated fish with salmoriglio sauce. I added chopped fresh basil, dill, and mint. Give it a try!
Lemony rice-parsley salad
Adapted from Food & Wine
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (or cut back on the parsley and add fresh basil, mint, tarragon, etc.)
1/2 small sweet Italian frying pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup oil-cured pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
2. In a large bowl, toss the rice with the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the parsley, frying pepper, olives, capers and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges. If you have fresh basil, mint, or tarragon readily available, use less parsley and throw some chopped herbs in there! Just make sure the rice has cooled before adding the herbs or they’ll darken and wilt.