Summer means beach, walks in the mountain and quick, easy and healthy meals. Even better if they are tasty and colorful. Rice or pasta salads are a must for any Italian family, add the crunchy zucchini on top and you’ll get an amazing appetizer with a delicate flavour and a delicious consistency.
Can you even say it’s summer if you don’t find a big bowl of rice or pasta salad in the fridge? In Italy, we use to prepare big amounts and then eat them during the week, until you would eventually get sick of it. I believe it’s because in this period of the year, it is so hot, no-one wants to cook for more than a day a week. My mum, to be honest, never liked cooking and I feel like she put even less effort during summer. Meaning pasta or rice salad was the go-to meal on those hot days.
When preparing a pasta or rice salad, I love adding different ingredients everytime. As usually we prepare bulk of it, we tend to put anything we find in the fridge in the bowl, so that nothing gets wasted and the salad does not result being too boring after a couple of days. It’s perfect with any summer dinner with friends as you can prepare it in advance. I usually pair black rice with shrimps and zucchini, but this version is just as delicious.
“My family lived off the land and summer evening meals featured baked stuffed tomatoes, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh shelled peas and homemade ice cream with strawberries from our garden. With no air conditioning in those days, the cool porch was the center of our universe after the scorching days.”David Mixner
Black Rice Salad with Crunchy Zucchini
- Pot with Boiling Salted Water
- 200 gr Black Rice
- 2 Zucchini
- 1/2 pack Vegan Feta or Feta
- 100 gr Chickpeas
- 100 gr Cherry Tomatoes
- 4-5 leaves Fresh Basil
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- as required Olive Oil
- Pour the rice into a pot with salted boiling water and cook according to instructions (mine was 30 min).
- In the meantime, warm up the oven at 200C, cut the zucchini into slices and season with salt, pepper and olive oil, bake for 15-20 min until crunchy.
- In a bowl, mix together chickpeas, cherry tomatoes sliced into four, feta cut into cubes. Season with a bit of olive oil and pepper and leave aside.
- Drain the rice, let it cool washing it with some cold water and mix it in the bowl with the other ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil and add the sliced basil leaves.
- Serve the rice with the crunchy zucchini on top.
I do have a scientific mind, probably it’s the reason why I love to hide in the kitchen and start creating.
My cooking is healthy, fun and colorful… and really tasty!
What are you waiting for? Grab your apron and start creating with me!