I'm assuming that you are sitting down while you read this post. I hope so, because I don't want the shock of me having cheated a little bit and not strictly followed this week's Cookbook Challenge recipe to be too much for you.
This week the theme is rice, so I decided to use risoni instead. Risoni are little pieces of pasta in the shape of rice and are the basis of a Curtis Stone salad in the current issue of delicious magazine (April 2010). In the magazine it is a side dish, however I decided to add some tuna to bulk it up and serve it as a main meal.
The following quantities will serve 4 as a side or 2, and some leftovers for lunch, if you use the tuna and have it as a main meal.
1 red capsicum, quartered
250gm punnet of vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
2tbs olive oil
1 eschalot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups risoni pasta
3 cups stock, chicken or vegetable, heated
1/2 telegraph cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
1 cup rocket leaves
185gm tin of good quality tuna (optional)
1 eschalot, finely chopped
1tbs red wine vinegar
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
2tbs roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 200C degrees.
Place capsicum on a tray lined with baking paper. Curtis says to roast them for 10 minutes, but I roasted for double this as I wanted the peppers to be very soft.
Remove the tray from the oven, add the tomatoes and drizzle with 1 tbs of the oil and season. Roast for another 5 minutes or until the tomato skins split and the peppers are blistered. Place the peppers in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes. The skins should then just come right off.
Slice the peeled peppers and put them and the tomatoes in a large bowl.
Meanwhile heat 1tbs olive oil in a deep non-stick fry pan, over a medium heat. Cook the eschalot for 2 minutes then add the garlic and cook stir for another 2 minutes. Add the risoni and stir to coat in the oil. Pour in the hot stock, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally until the risoni is cooked and then drain off any excess stock. Spread the risoni out on a tray and let cool.
For the vinaigrette place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the risoni, cucumber, tuna and rocket to the bowl with the other ingredients. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine all the ingredients and coat in the dressing.
Despite these seemingly endless instructions, this is actually a quite quick meal to prepare as you can do lots of steps at the same time. I served my risoni warm, rather than letting it cool.
I would definitely make this salad again but next time I will use a yellow pepper to add some more colour and maybe use some fresh salmon rather than tuna.