Risi e bisi (rice and pea) ham salad

Risi e bisi (rice and pea) ham salad


1 person made this

About this recipe: Full of crisp crunchy vegetables, lean ham and plenty of fresh herbs, this wholesome rice salad is substantial enough to serve as a main meal on its own. It makes a refreshing and tasty dish, ideal for eating al fresco in the garden or packing for a picnic on a hot summer's day.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 6 

  • 340 g (12 oz) mixed basmati and wild rice
  • 600 ml (1 pint) boiling water
  • 150 g (5½ oz) frozen petit pois
  • 200 g (7 oz) piece lean cooked ham, trimmed of fat and cut into strips
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 head chicory, leaves separated
  • 100 g (3½ oz) radicchio, finely shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh orange dressing
  • 6 tbsp orange juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Prep:25min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Put the rice in a saucepan and pour over the boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Tip the rice into a large bowl and stir in the frozen petit pois, then leave to cool.
  2. Add the ham, celery, onion, parsley and mint and toss well. Mix together the dressing ingredients, add to the bowl and toss until all the salad ingredients are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Reserve a few whole chicory leaves for the garnish, then finely shred the rest. Serve the rice salad and shredded chicory and radicchio on individual plates, garnished with the reserved whole chicory leaves.

Another idea

For a risi bisi sweetcorn salad, cook 250 g (8½ oz) brown rice in twice its volume of boiling vegetable stock for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain if necessary, then set aside. Heat 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan and cook 1 seeded and finely diced red pepper over a high heat for 4 minutes or until it begins to char. Leave to cool. Cook 100 g (3½ oz) fine green beans, cut into short lengths, in boiling water for 4 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Chop 6 spring onions and place in a bowl with the rice, red pepper and green beans and add a can of sweetcorn kernels, about 200 g, and a can of red kidney beans, about 400 g, both drained and rinsed. Mix together 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp wholegrain mustard, ½ tsp clear honey and salt and pepper to taste. Add this dressing to the salad together with 3 tbsp chopped parsley and toss well to mix.

Plus points

Radicchio, a member of the chicory family, has deep red and white tightly packed leaves. The red pigment means this vegetable is high in beta-carotene and other cancer-fighting phytochemicals. * Using orange juice as a base for the dressing rather than sharp vinegar means less oil is needed. It also increases the amount of vitamin C in the dish. * The combination of lean ham, rice and peas provides almost half of the RNI of protein for an adult woman.

Each serving provides

B1, B6, B12, E * C, folate * iron, potassium, zinc

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