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« Baby Greens with Golden Beets, Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Parmesan Shavings | Main | Meatballs with Porcini Mushrooms »

Rice Salad with Shrimp and Fava Beans

Rice Salad

This was one of the first dishes I made from Elizabeth David's Italian Food, for a dinner party around 1974 in Manhattan. It was a satisfying, popular dish then and I've made it countless times since then. Absolutely fail-proof. 

The entire David recipe: 

Cold rice makes an excellent first course. There should not be too much rice in proportion to the other ingredients, it must on no account be overcooked, and it is best to season it while still hot.

Boil 1 cupful of rice in salted water. Drain it, season it with pepper, nutmeg, plenty of olive oil, and a little vinegar or lemon juice. Stir in a few shreds of raw onion. When it is cold add a dozen cooked scampi or Dublin Bay prawns, a cupful of green peas cooked with shredded ham and handful of chopped parsley.

A rice salad can be made with any number of different ingredients: raw or cooked mushrooms, cold chicken, any shellfish, pine kernels, almonds, cooked or raw pimentos, celery, fennel, ham, olives. There should always be one crisp element to counteract the softness of the rice.

I'm still pretty true to the E.D. formula. I've found that the "season while hot" instruction is very important, and the seasoning should not be done with a timid hand. Don't spare the nutmeg, and use lemon juice if you can. Last night for about 8 cups cooked rice I used two medium onions. One of my major adaptations has been to use a splash of truffle oil in the seasonings. The rice should be very tasty before the addition of any other ingredients, with a nice lemon bite and noticable nutmeg.

Rice Salad with Shrimp and Fava Beans

Serves 20

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1//2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground'
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small onion, shredded
  • 1 lb small shrimp, cooked
  • 1/2 lb ham, shredded
  • 3 cups fresh fava beans
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 raw red pepper in julienne strips
  • 1 cup fennel, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 8 red radishes, sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons truffle oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place 5 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the salt.

2. Add the rice, cover and simmer 20 minutes. 

3. Add to the hot rice the nutmeg, olive oil, lemon juice and onion. Stir to combine. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

4. Add the shrimp, ham, beans, pine nuts, red pepper, fennel, celery, parsley, radish slices, optional truffle oil (if using) and mushrooms. Mix well. 

5. Season to taste. 

Nutritional Estimate 20 Half-Cup Servings. Per serving: 173 Calories; 28 g Total Carbs; 3 g Dietary Fiber; 2 g Sugars; 4 g Fat; 5 mg Cholesterol; 201 mg Sodium; 6 g Protein. Weight Watchers: 3 points.

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