Recipe: Frutti di Mare Rice Salad
A light, fresh Mediterranean seafood salad of your dreams.
4 to 6 servings
1½ cups short-grain Italian rice, such as Carnaroli or Arborio
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 small bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
½ pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound cleaned squid, cut in thin rings
1 pound small mussels, scrubbed
½ pound slender green beans
½ pound cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful of basil leaves, for garnish
2 tablespoons finely cut chives, for garnish
1. Bring a gallon of well-salted water to a boil then add rice. Cook for about 15 minutes (as though it were pasta), until al dente. Drain and spread rice on a platter or baking tray to cool.
2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar and mustard. Let macerate five to 10 minutes, then whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook the seafood: Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a simmer. Add bay leaf and thyme. Add shrimp and cook for one to two minutes, until just done, then remove and spread on a plate to cool. Cook squid rings for about one minute, then remove and spread on a plate to cool. Finally, simmer mussels in same pot, covered, until shells open, about two minutes. Drain and spread on a plate to cool. Remove mussels from shell if desired. (Reserve cooking liquid for another purpose.)
4. Cook the green beans: Boil a small amount of salted water (just enough to cover the beans) in a separate low pot or a skillet. Add green beans and simmer for two to three minutes, until tender but still firm, then drain and cool.
5. Put rice in a low salad bowl. Dress with half the vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper; toss well to distribute dressing. Combine green beans and tomatoes; dress with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette, season lightly and scatter over rice. Arrange seafood over the top. Spoon remaining vinaigrette over seafood. Garnish with basil leaves (tear larger leaves into pieces) and chives. Serve at room temperature.
— David Tanis, The New York Times