Italian Rice Salad with Soppressata and Caciocavallo

This all-in-one dish is inspired by the rice salads offered during aperitivos at bars in Rome. Chef Chris Behr of the Rome Sustainable Food Project elevates standard bar fare with lots of fresh herbs, crunchy fennel, and slices of soppressata and cheese.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
KEY: Rice, Grains

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  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, plus more for drizzling (optional)

  • 2 cups loosely packed shaved caciocavallo or aged provolone cheese (5 ounces)

  • 4 ounces thinly sliced soppressata, 
sliced into 1/2-inch strips

  • 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Cerignola or Castelvetrano, halved 

  • 1 medium fennel bulb—halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced on a mandoline, plus 
 1/3 cup small fronds for garnish

  • 4 scallions, white and light green 
parts only, thinly sliced

  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the rice over moderate heat until al dente, about 15 minutes. Just before draining, add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain the rice and peas well and spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the 3 tablespoons 
of vinegar over the rice and peas and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the rice and peas with the cheese, soppressata, olives, sliced fennel, scallions and parsley. Drizzle with the olive oil and more vinegar, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Garnish with the fennel fronds and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Abby Hocking Published May 2017

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