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Insalata di Riso


Insalata di Riso is an Italian summer staple. This recipe includes zucchini, tuna, prosciutto and pecorino for a medley of summer flavors. 


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 small or 1 medium/large zucchini
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, (I used Bona Furtuna extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zest of whole lemon, juice of ½ 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt kosher (I used Bona Furtuna Sicilian sea salt with organic lemon )
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1/3 pound prosciutto, torn into strips
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans good quality tuna, packed in olive oil  
  • About 1/3 pound semi-soft cheese, such as a young pecorino or mozzarella, diced
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh parsley, basil, and mint


Hard boil the eggs: Place the eggs in a medium pot.  Cover with cold water by about an inch or two. Heat the pan on high heat and bring the water to a full boil. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Leave the pot on the same burner.  Let the eggs sit for 12 minutes for hard boiled.  Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to stop them from booking further. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggs (I find doing this under a gentle stream of cold water makes the task easier.) Set aside. 

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook following the package directions, until al dente (firm to the bite).  Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer or colander and run cold water over the rice to stop the cooking. Place the rice in a large bowl that you will use to toss the salad together. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. 

In the same medium skillet that you will use to fry the zucchini (cut down on those dishes to wash), toast the pine nuts.  Place the pine nuts in the dry skillet over medium heat.  Watch carefully so they do not burn, stirring the nuts or shaking the pan, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant, 2-3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat so they do not burn. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl.

Slice the zucchini into thin rounds. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Fry the zucchini slices, a few at a time so as not to crowd the pan, until they are golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel as they are ready. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon zest and juice, sea salt and pepper.   Taste and adjust any seasonings. Add the dressing to the rice in the large bowl and toss to combine. Add in the prosciutto, tuna, and cheese.  Stir to combine.  Set aside a few of the zucchini slices to dress the top. Add in the rest of the zucchini slices and the chopped herbs. Stir gently. 

Transfer to your serving bowl. Top with the reserved zucchini slices. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and top with the halved hard-boiled eggs. Serve and enjoy!