My brother got me a cookbook for Christmas. He called me a couple of days later just to make sure he’d done the right thing. As if. As if I wouldn’t totally love a cookbook. I practically eat cookbooks for breakfast.
Truly, when I opened it, however, I was a little surprised. I’d never heard of Jacques Pepin, who is the author of said cookbook. But he sounded French and I trust French people and their food, so I was excited about the possibilities. And then I started flipping through it and the first recipe I landed on stuck in my head. Rice Salad was the title of the recipe. It doesn’t sound so amazing, I admit, but as I scanned the ingredient list, I started to get a little anxious. Where was a bookmark? I needed a sticky note, a slip of paper, something to mark this with. And then I needed to make it asap.
Well, it took me nine days to actually make it, and that was a nine days too long. Such simple ingredients, such an easy assembly, such a fantastic result. We had it for dinner and loved it. And then we had it for lunch the next day and it was even better. In fact, I finished off the rest of the leftovers as a “snack” an hour later.
Don’t be surprised, friends, if this is what I bring to the next potluck. Or if I develop rice cheeks over the next couple of months from eating it all the time.
And also, good choice on the cookbook, Isaac. It’s a winner.
Rice Salad adapted from Essential Pepin
4 cups water
2 cups long grain white rice
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 6-ounce can tuna
2 tablespoons drained capers
juice of 1 lemon
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan, salt it, add the rice and cook with the cover on over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender but firm. (Or you can cook it in your rice cooker, like I did.)
When the rice is done cooking, put it in a large bowl. Add the chopped artichoke hearts, tuna, capers, chopped eggs, lemon juice, olive oil and half of the parsley and mix gently but thorough. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, warm or chilled, with the rest of the parsley sprinkled on top.