Rachel Roddy’s recipe for rice salad | A kitchen in Rome
A revisit to an Italian summer favourite, ‘cold tasty rice’ with tuna, tomato, beans, artichoke … and perhaps a whiff of intrigue
“More recipe books? Because everybody likes good food,” is the first line of Lisa Biondi’s Antipasti, one of a series of six books published by Novara in October 1969. The introduction goes on to outline the book’s objective: classic recipes, simplified and with expert advice and unique touches to make them even more original. And the expert? Biondi herself, a much-loved household name in Italy, synonymous with competence, experience and accessibility.
I first met Lisa in one of Rome’s secondhand mercatini, in the form of three of those six books: Antipasti e Salse (starters and sauces), Uova e Pesci (eggs and fish) and Primi Piatti (pasta, rice and polenta). High on the smell of yellowing books and my Antiques Roadshow fantasies, I was caught by the cover of Antipasti in particular. On it is a party of stuffed eggs, some upright with a star-shaped opening at the top so that tuna mayonnaise could be piped in, others boat-style and topped with a peeled prawn with olive-sliver-legs or with radish slices arranged like flowers. As a backdrop to the eggs are cut-glass bowls filled with olives, radishes and mini pickled onions. In short, my ideal antipasti party.