Rice salad with broad beans chickpeas and pecorino

There is nothing better than a flavoursome rice salad as a main course for your meal on a warm summer day, nothing! The whole Italian peninsula is full of recipes for rice salads, my favourites come from the regions in central Italy where their rich rural culture uses whole grains like spelt and barley which add great texture to the dish.

This recipe takes inspiration from that regiona and uses Riso Gallo’s 3 grain to create an amazing salad of Italian rice, spelt and barley. The pairing of the ingredients follow a traditional Roman salad made with fresh broad beans, pecorino cheese, and mint, making it a very seasonal, light and zingy dish.

This ‘3 grain’ recipe is great as a starter, full of the freshness of the broad beans, peas and fresh herbs, but also very good as a vegetarian main course with good carbs from spelt and barley and protein from the chickpeas. Strive for fresh peas and broad beans but you can save time by getting frozen peas and broad beans ready to boil. If you have time use dry chickpeas, soak them overnight and simmer the following day. Alternatively, a canned chickpeas are fine.

This recipe is so easy to make, it only takes 30 minutes, and can be prepared hours in advance, stored in the fridge until ready to use, just make sure it is at room temperature when served.

Rice type: 3 grain
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

• 120g cooked chickpeas
• 120g peas (off the pod)
• 120g broad beans (off the pod)
• 300g “3 grain” Riso Gallo rice
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 small bunch of basil
• 150g Pecorino cheese, shaved
• 1 small bunch of fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, chives, dill, mint, basil)
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1

Boil the peas and the broad beans for 1 minute in salted water than cool them down in iced water to retain the beautiful colour

Step 2

Peel the broad beans from the thick skin by hand. Leave the peas as they are.

Step 3

Meanwhile, cook the Riso Gallo ‘3 grain’ in salted boiling water for approximately 20 minutes; even less if you like your rice al dente. Cool under running water

Step 4

Drain the chickpeas from their cooking water. In a large serving bowl combine the “3 grain” with the cooked chickpeas, the peas and the broad beans

Step 5

Dress with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Shave the Pecorino cheese on top and garnish with the fresh herbs to serve