You just have to re-define your relationships….
Of the more than 250 cookbooks on my shelves, one of my favorites is Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking.
A chef of Italian heritage living in the bountiful county of Napa, Michael knows well how to maximize fresh ingredients to create his delicious recipes and menus.
And his Insalata di Riso was, for years, high on my list of things to make when serving dinner to impress a crowd or just serving a supper to please my family.
But since the original dish was made with white rice, oil, cheese and ham, I knew that if I wanted to regularly have it at my table, I had to re-think it.
Now, the skinny version of this gorgeous dish is back on my buffet and we’re back to celebrating supper Napa Style.. but with NO guilt!
Once again Magic Rice is the key to skinny-fying this delicious dish.
Cauliflower Rice mixed, 50/50, with Idiot Proof Oven Baked Wild Rice immediately lowers the calories by half while boosting tummy filling fiber and nutrients.
Sun-dried tomatoes packed in a little super-flavorful oil stand in for the ham, adding a rich taste and punch of color but with a fraction of the fat of pork.
The calories are cut further by doubling the almost calorie free asparagus. And, rather than fresh fava beans–which I love, but are labor intensive–I use frozen shelled edamame (soy beans) to add color, texture and protein.
And by using those frozen beans– along with frozen peas–I save the step of an ice bath to retain the asparagus’ bright green color.
If you make the rice mixture the day before, as I always do before a party, the whole thing comes together in 15 minutes!
SKINNY INSALATA DI RISO
4 c Magic Wild Rice
1 c onion, chopped
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c frozen peas
1 c frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c grated Romano cheese
Prepare your Magic Wild Rice and set aside in a serving bowl.
Dump the mixture onto the rice in the serving bowl.
As soon as the water begins to boil, allow the asparagus to cook just 3 minutes longer and drain the water but leave asparagus in the pan.
Squeeze in the lemon juice and then toss into the serving bowl.
Reserve about one tablespoon of Romano to garnish the top and serve.
A gorgeous side dish to any buffet, it’s delicious warm, cold or at room temperature.
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE
Add just a little bit of roasted or grilled chicken or cooked shrimp to the dish for a delicious lunch or supper the next day.