For 4-6 persons
500g (1 lb.) rice
1 can of tunafish
A few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
The juice of one lemon
Plus one or more of the following flavorings, adjusting measurements to taste:
A handful each of capers, chopped gherkins and olives
A small can of anchovies, roughly chopped
Some pickled onions and/or pimentos, chopped up
A nice chunk of Swiss cheese, cut into small cubes
A half-jar of giardiniera
A few cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Begin by boiling your rice al dente. It will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to boil your rice, depending on the variety of rice you use; rice cooks more quickly when boiled in abundant water than for a risotto. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse it quickly under cold water to stop the cooking. Give it a good shake or two to get out all the water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Then add your choice of condiments from your pantry. My favorite is based on tuna fish, which you add to the boiled rice together with a handful of capers, some chopped gerkins and a handful of olives (green and/or black, as you prefer). I sometimes add some chopped anchovies as well. Some people add even more ingredients, usually pickled onions or pimentos, or both. Today I had some mozzarella on hand, so I chopped that into cubes and added it, too.
Finish off with some chopped parsley for color, a good drizzling of olive oil, salt, pepper and some freshly squeezed lemon juice—just enough to ‘brighten’ the dish. Mix gently but well with a spatula until the ingredients are evenly mixed. (Try not to break up the tuna completely—it’s nicest with little chunks here and there, I find.) You can serve the salad immediately, but it develops flavor if you let it rest for an hour or more.
Rice salad can be made as much as a day ahead—in which case, leave it in the fridge, of course, and take it out about an hour ahead so it returns to room temperature. Just before serving, you may want to ‘refresh’ your Tuna Rice Salad with a bit more oil and lemon juice.