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Perfect for the summer, this popular Italian rice salad is great for picnics and lunch-boxes and is super quick and easy to make.
Disclaimer: This is recipe is sponsored by Ciao Gusto. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Insalata di Riso (rice salad) is a popular Italian summer time dish. When mercury levels rise and it is too hot to slave over a hot stove, this quick and easy rice salad makes a tasty and refreshing light lunch.
Served at room temperature, it is perfect for picnics and as a great make ahead dish – by the time you are ready to eat, all the delicious flavours will have combined together perfectly.
What is in Italian rice salad
Plain boiled rice is usually mixed with sliced würstel (small German sausages) or tuna, giardiniera (pickled vegetables), olive oil, salt and pepper.
Giardiniera is a pickled, crunchy vegetable mix which is salty and tangy. It can be eaten as an antipasto, with cold cuts, or used as a garnish for dishes like Lesso (boiled meats). In fact it goes with quite a few dishes – think gherkins, think giardiniera! Try mixing it with this Potato Salad for extra tanginess and crunch.
To prepare this dish, I used Ponti’s Insalata per Riso * (Cold Rice Salad Topping), which is a delicious and easy to use giardiniera with great texture. It is a mixture of small pieces of carrots, gherkins, peppers, celeriac, turnip, artichokes, green olives, peas, black olives, sweetcorn and mushrooms. It is available in 280g jars from the Ciao Gusto shop on Ocado.
Ciao Gusto supplies Ocado with over 30 of Italy’s most popular brands – many of which are long established family run businesses. The Ponti brand is a family run business (est. 150 years ago), well known for its pickled vegetables, vinegars and sauces. They also stock many of my other favourite brands such as Cirio tomatoes and beans, Giovanni Rana fresh pasta, Rio Mare Tuna, and Riso Gallo risotto, to name a few. I love finding all these great quality ingredients in one place to click & buy.
Ciao Gusto will be running a Save 20% in June on these Ponti products from Ocado: Cold Rice Salad Topping in Sunflower Seeds Oil, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (500ml), Capers in Salt, Zero Oil Grilled Peppers (314ml), Zero Oil Pepper & Lemon Artichokes, Zero Oil Grilled Champignon Mushrooms, and Zero Oil Sun-dried Tomatoes.
Click the Ocado link above to order – and I’d love to know what you made or thought of them!
How to make Giardiniera Rice Salad
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and gently lower the egg into the boiling water. (Make sure the egg is room temperature). Boil for 10 minutes, then remove, allow to cool and remove the shell.
- Make the rice – click here for detailed instructions on How to Make Rice.
- Separately, in a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, the Ponti mixed vegetables (drained), tuna (I use the oil too), parsley and salt & pepper.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and mix well.
- Slice the egg and arrange on top.
- Serve at room temperature.
Giardiniera Rice Salad
- 1 egg room temperature
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 280 g Ponti Insalata per Riso Cold Rice Salad Topping in Sunflower seeds oil, drained
- 160 g tuna 5 oz can of good quality tuna with the oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon olives pitted and sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon parsley whole, torn or chopped
Boil the egg
- Bring a small saucepan filled with water to a boil, then gently lower the egg into the water till fully submerged. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before removing the shell, then set aside.
Prepare the rice salad
- In a large mixing bowl, add the rice, tuna, Ponti vegetables*, parsley, juice of the lemon and salt and pepper. Stir gently till all the ingredients are mixed together.
- Slice the egg and place over the rice salad.
- Serve at room temperature