Warm weather is great for making rice rings, since many, like this Italian-inspired gem, do well served cold, and they’re a dramatic treat to present. I ofte dust off my metal rice mold, a ten-inch, 5½- cup treasure, to prepare this delicious and easy treat, usually as a side dish. It also makes a wonderful vegetarian main course by serving it with a spinach salad, crusty French bread, and grilled vegetables such as zucchini and/or eggplant. Either way, try topping off the meal with a French rosé.
This recipe would complement any number of barbecued meats or seafood. Turn it out on a bed of lettuce if you like, and fill the center with olives, fresh peas, edible flowers, whatever you prefer. I used fresh parsley and tiny tomatoes this time.
HERBED RICE RING1 cup carnaroli or other arborio type rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup olive oil
3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsps. dried mint
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can pink beans, rinsed well and drained
1. Bring broth to a boil. Add salt and rice. Simmer, covered, for 18 minutes. Transfer rice to strainer and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
2. Blend next seven ingredients. Gently fold in beans, then rice.
3. Press mixture into rice mold. Turn onto serving plate and garnish as desired.