This is my warm-weather riff on the classic Italian risi bisi (rice and peas). The original is a wonderful dish, but on hot days I prefer a cold version. The salad makes a nice alternative to the usual potato salad at outdoor gatherings.
I start with basmati rice because it has a lovely aromatic quality and holds its shape well.
The attractive medley of flavors, colors and textures pairs beautifully with simple grilled meats. The one drawback is that it's best eaten the same day it is made. By the next day, the flavors can grow too strong.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 3 cups cooked basmati rice, cooled to room temperature
- 1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (about 3 slices), cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch squares
- 4 ounces quickly cooked peas, cooled in ice water (1 cup)
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the rice and prosciutto in a mixing bowl or large serving bowl, using your fingers to separate any clumps. Add the peas (which should be bright green), red bell pepper, parsley, vinegars, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste, adjust the seasonings and add oil as needed.
Serve right away or, for optimum flavor, within 8 hours.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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