Red Rice Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Corn

John von Pamer

In Italy, whenever you walk into a store that sells salumi or prepared foods, you will inevitably see some kind of rice salad. It's as ubiquitous as coleslaw is in delis here, and these rice salads can be just as unimpressive—often a half-hearted mix of canned corn, sliced olives, lackluster ham, vegetables, and rice. Still, we've always liked the idea of a rice salad and so decided to come up with a fresher, livelier version, using summer vegetables at their peak—sweet corn, ripe cherry tomatoes, spice radishes, cucumbers, and scallions, with herbs and caciocavallo cheese for complexity. But the biggest departure from the Italian standard is that instead of using the traditional white rice, we toss the vegetables with red rice from the Piedmont region. Red has a much deeper, earthier flavor than white rice and a firmer texture. If you can't find it, try using faro rather than substitution white or brown rice.

  • 1 cup Piedmont red rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar; or more to taste
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup mixed, halved red and gold cherry tomatoes (about 16)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear)
  • 4 ounces caciocavallo, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced radishes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 8 basil leaves, torn
  • 4 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parlsey
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add the rice and boil until the grains begin to split, 15 to 18 minutes. Salt the water heavily and cook until the grains are tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Drain the rice very well and spread it out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the vinegar and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let cool.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Toss with the tomatoes, corn, cheese, cucumber, radishes, scallions, herbs, and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar if the salad needs a lift. Drizzle with salad with oil and serve.

Serves 4
  • When it comes to cooking sausage, it's all about heat management

    "If you're going to grill, you can mark it first on a hotter part of the grill," says Chris Ying, editor in chief of Lucky Peach and co-author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach. "Then move it to the cooler, indirect heat to finish cooking gently and slowly, and let all of those fats and everything break down inside of the sausage."

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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.