Looking for a lighter take on risotto? Or at least a simpler version that doesn’t involve standing by the stove the entire time? This rice salad is easy to make, full of flavour, and ideal for a family meal, and not to mention leftovers for school lunches!
I say it time and time again…sometimes the best meals happen when you
don’t have time to grocery shopping and use what you have stocked in the fridge least expect it! I had a pack of frozen peas in the freezer, some slices of prosciutto in the fridge and just enough Parmesan and rice to make a complete meal for the family (as well as a pureed version for my 9 month old-which she loved!).
4 cups water
1 cup frozen peas
3-4 slices prosciutto or cooked ham
2-3 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. fresh mint, finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil, quantity as desired
Bring about 6-7 cups of water to boil in a large pot (covering the pot with a lid makes it boil faster!). In the meantime, remove the peas from the freezer and finely chop the prosciutto.
Once boiling, add the rice to the pot and cook for about 15 minutes then add the peas Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until “al dente.” The cooking time will depend on how you prefer the rice, although cooking it a minute or two longer is more ideal for baby!
Drain the rice and peas and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. *Rinsing washes away most the starches, however in this case, it’s ideal that the rice is not too creamy. Set aside until slightly cooled.
Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients and mix until the rice is well coated.
Serve cold, at room temperature or warmed. We like it any which way!
*For babies (8+ months) purée with homemade vegetable broth, water, formula or breast milk. You can also omit the prosciutto or personalize the recipe by adding other ingredients such as sautéed zucchini, grilled chicken, or even fish!