Perfect Risoni Salad

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Risoni Salad

Christmas happened and it was delicious and now I’m back at work and in Melbourne and committed to one thing; more salad in my life.

Therefore, this salad, which was recently brought to a picnic by a friend and I have now gussied up with more herbs because otherwise it’s mostly pasta, is brilliant. Sweet sultanas, crunchy almonds, and delicious DELICIOUS risoni. Make it for work lunches as it keeps well in the fridge overnight.

(Adapted from Bhakthi who adapted from the SBS website recipe for Moroccan Rice Salad)

Makes two big servings, easily doubled for a barbecue/picnic.

Ingredients:
1 cup risoni*
2 spring onions, sliced finely
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup barely chopped coriander
1/4 cup barely chopped (torn?) mint
1/3 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted in a pan and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds**, toasted and ground
1/3 to 1/2 cup sultanas
Grated rind from 1 medium lemon
juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon fetta, crumbled (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

First cook the risoni according to directions on pack. Mine didn’t have directions so I just boiled a bunch of water and cooked the risoni until al dente. Which is really all the directions you need for cooking pasta.

When al dente, drain your risoni well, and allow to cool down a bit.

While the pasta is cooling you can toast the almonds. Over a gentle heat pour the raw almonds into a pan and toss them around till they start to brown slightly. Be patient, your pasta will take a while to cool anyway. Pour the almonds onto a board once they’re done, and roughly chop them. You can then use the same pan to toast your cumin seeds; over the same low heat gently warm the seeds till you can smell the cumin, they can brown a little. Pour into your mortar and crush the seeds with the pestle. It doesn’t have to be a very fine powder.

You can now add all the ingredients to the risoni in a large bowl (big enough to give it a good mix). When I made this recently I forgot the fetta and it was still amazing, so if you’re vegan or you don’t have fetta at home, good news! You don’t need it! Do keep tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper as needed, and mix well.

The salad can be served warm, room temperature or cold. All are delicious.

*The risoni I used was actually called Pignolina 71

**Yes, you can use pre-ground cumin, it’s fine. But it really doesn’t taste as good. And toasting them and bashing them in a mortar and pestle is so easy.

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