Rice Salad - Cold Dish Recipe
The Rice Salad is a classic summer Italian dish whose ingredients and appearance varies quite a bit from cook to cook. Whatever the recipe, it is a great food for a picnic, a potluck party, or just a summer family dinner. In Italy many people pack rice salad for a day at the beach, so it can be a dish that brings back happy memories all year long.
Colorful and fresh, the Rice Salad brings joy to the table, and because of the bright colors is usually loved by grownups and children alike. I always make extra and pack the leftover for my children's lunch on a school day, they love it.
Rice Salad is good as appetizer but can be a complete meal, since it has all the nutritional elements needed in well balanced diet. It's colorful, tasty, and nutritious; a fun dish for everyone.
Rice Salad Ingredients
- 3 cups Parboiled Rice, cooked and cooled
- 1/2 cup Cheese, diced
- 2 cans Tuna
- 1 1/2 cup Fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup Olives, sliced
- 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Hard-boiled eggs, diced
- Salt, to taste
- Lemon Juice, to taste
- Boil the rice in salty water according to cooking instructions on package, usually for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Optional: quickly rinse the cooked rice with running cold water.
- Dice all the ingredients, vegetables, cheese, and meats, and break the tuna into small pieces.
- When the rice is cooled, place in a big bowl and add all the ingredients, including the extra virgin olive oil.
- Stir well until there are no areas of white rice.
- Add some of the ingredients to the top for garnish, like cherry tomatoes cut in half, olives, or slices of hard boiled eggs, and some parsley. Adjust salt as needed.
- Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Serve cold.
The Rice Salad Tastes Better if Made a Day Earlier
To enhance the taste of your Rice Salad, I recommend preparing it one or two days in advance and let it rest in the refrigerator, covered.
This will allow the rice to absorb the aromas of all ingredients, and really get the best taste.
Make Your Own Rice Salad Recipe
The rice salad is a very flexible dish. You can make it with many variations of ingredients, and it's a great way to use some leftovers.
You can also get creative with the rice, using different grains and different color rice, like basmati rice and wild rice.
Here are some alternative ingredients that you may want to include, and they all work well together, just remember to dice them up.
Note: The only ingredients that I never add are spices and herbs, because they may be too powerful and overpower the all dish, but that is a personal choice. You can try to add anything you think of to a small portion and taste to see if you like the combination of flavors.
Add some lemon juice
Optional: serve with a slice of lemon.
I love to add some freshly squeezed lemon juice on my rice salad, it adds a nice zest to it. You can try lime juice as well.
You Can Really Get Creative with the Ingredients!
Depending on what you put into it, the rice salad can become more or less tasty.
My staple ingredients that I always include, as the minimum, are:
- Something acid (like capers, cocktail onions, etc.)
- Some kind of cubed cheese, the tastier the better (aged cheese is better than fresh for taste)
- Canned tuna. it goes particularly well with the acidic ingredients.
- Something salty, like olives.
- Some color: diced tomatoes, corn, boiled carrot cubes, parsley, etc.
Alternative ingredients for rice salad
Rosted bell peppers
© 2012 Robie Benve