In all honesty there is nothing Italian at all about this salad, but the red, white and green vegetables reminded me of an Insalata Caprese and the colours of the Italian flag, and it looks pretty.
We needed a picnic supper tonight for a Scottish Dancing group that we go to and I found a bag of a mix of red camargue and wild rice in the cupboard and made a simple salad with some vegetables that I had in the fridge. Vegetables are far easier to eat and enjoy raw if they are chopped into smaller pieces, if you prefer blanch the brocolli and cauliflower. I always cook my rice in a microwave steamer, I get perfect rice everytime and in about half the time it takes to cook on the hob – 14 minutes for brown rice and 11 for white, I cannot recommend them highly enough and would not be without mine.
Italian Rice Salad
- 75 g white rice
- 100 ml water
- 3 tbsp Italian dressing
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 0.33 cup (50 g) red pepper (diced)
- 0.33 cup (50 g) green pepper (diced)
- 1 spring onion
- 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 inches cucumber (diced)
- 1 bunch parsley
- 10 olives
- basil sprigs
For the Italian Dressing
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard (smooth)
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp mixed dried herbs
- ¼ lemon, zest only
- First, cook the rice in 100 ml water and then transfer to a large bowl.75 g white rice, 100 ml water
- Pour the dressing over the rice and stir it in. If you don't have a batch of Italian dressing made – see the notes belowPush the rice around the edge of the bowl to maximise the surface area for faster cooling. Cover and allow the rice to absorb the dressing as it cools. Then cover and transfer to the fridge.3 tbsp Italian dressing
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan over a medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside and allow to cool.2 tbsp pine nuts
- Quarter the fresh tomatoes and chop the other vegetables into small pieces. Finely chop the parsley. Add all of these to the cooled rice and stir in well. The salad can now be chilled for up to 24 hours.6 cherry tomatoes, 0.33 cup red pepper, 0.33 cup green pepper, 1 spring onion, 2 inches cucumber, 1 bunch parsley, 2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
- Before serving, fluff the rice, stir in the olives and scatter with the pine nuts and basil.basil sprigs, 10 olives
To make the dressing
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to the bowl and mix with a mini whisk before adding the rice.2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp mixed dried herbs, ¼ lemon, zest only
StorageYou can store this rice salad in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving, but it is better to add the basil and pine kernels just before you serve.
Hints and tips
- Dressing the rice while it is still hot makes a huge difference, allowing the rice to absorb the flavour.
- Take the time to cut the vegetables into pieces of approximately the same size for best results.
- Add the pine nuts just before serving to keep them crunchy.
- All measurements are approximate except for the ratios for the rice, so use what you have.
yum! i love salads with red and wild rices instead of boring old lettuce – just feels so simple and healthy… thanks for sharing!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake
I haven’t had red rice for ages, much see whether I have any in the cupboard. I like it as it reminds me of holidays in the Camargue. Very tasty looking salad.