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04 April 2011

Rice Salad With Tuna, Tomatoes & Corn

Being a family day,  I usually prepare something more special than usual on Sundays if ever we are home but if I have an incurable Sunday attack of laziness, I just rely on what is lying around the kitchen.  The supermarkets close in the middle of the day while all the other shops are closed so I do my shopping in the cupboards, refrigerator & freezer.   After scanning my refrigerator, I was able to take out some leftover boiled rice, cherry tomatoes & a sliced pomegranate.   I can already see an insalata di riso (rice salad) taking shape.  Rummaging in my cupboard, I got the other main ingredient, canned tuna.  I also got a can of corn kernels & a bottle of palm heart or palmito.

When preparing insalata di riso, I am not prudent with the ingredients which means more ingredients than rice.  Which is also congruent to strong flavors.

When I am able to clear up a bit from leftovers or overstaying cans & bottles of food, I get a feeling of triumph.  Accomplished in eliminating and ready to fill up the emptied spaces again. 

There is a proper way to cook the rice for the insalata di riso but plain boiled rice is acceptable.  In fact, insalata di riso doesn't really have a rule of what you can mix it with.  Just put together anything that you deem are good together.  Of course there are some classics.   Rice salads are an expression of spring & summer through one's kitchen.   It's making use of fresh ingredients (also bottled & canned) with cold rice.  Eaten under a shade of a tree with a cold glass of white wine epitomizes a healthy Italian summer (& spring) meal.

Rice Salad With Tuna, Tomatoes & Corn

Serves 4
  • 300 g. canned corn kernels, drained
  • 240 g. canned tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 150 g. parbroiled rice or any similar rice
  • 3 sticks of palm heart or palmito, cut into rings
  • 1/4 pomegranate, seeds taken out
  • 100 g. cherry tomatoes, halved if small or quartered if big
  • 2 tablespoons capers soaked in vinegar, squeezed & rinsed in water
  • handful of basil, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Boil rice in salted water until al dente.  When cooked, rinse with cold water immediately to stop cooking then drain.  When cold, transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl with the rice.  Season with salt & pepper & drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients.