Rice Salad with Seasonal Vegetables

Recipe from Chef John Coletta.

For 8-10 people:

Ingredients

11/4Cups Acquerello Carnaroli rice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt

2 red bell peppers

6 cups fresh fava bean pods, shelled, beans blanched and peeled to make 2 cups fava beans, or 2 cups fresh peeled and steamed refrigerated fava

1 bunch asparagus spears, woody stems and papery scales cut into pieces to make 2 cups

2 carrots, sliced to make 2 cups

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1 (7-inch) zucchini, sliced to make 2 cups

5 sage leaves, finely snipped

1 large bunch dandelion greens or arugula, leaves only, hand torn to make 2 lightly packed cups

4 lemons, sliced into quarters

Basil pesto

Sea salt and black pepper in grinders, for the table

Preparation

In a medium heavy-gauge saucepan or pot over medium heat, combine 4 cups water, the rice, butter, and salt. Stir until the water comes to a boil.

Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring until the rice is tender but not mushy and has absorbed almost all of the liquid This should take 18 to 20 minutes from the simmering stage. Set aside.

Meanwhile, using tongs, blister the skin of the bell peppers on all sides over a gas flame on the stovetop or under the broiler. When the roasted peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin. Chop the peppers and place in a small serving bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium heavy-gauge saucepan or pot, heat 4I2 cups water to boiling over medium beat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Blanch the fava beans until al dente; scoop them out into a small serving bowl. Blanch the asparagus pieces until al dente; scoop them out into another small serving bowl. Turn off the heat and discard the cooking water.

Toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; spread them out on a sheet pan. Roast in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saut the zucchini with the sage until tender. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Wipe out the saute pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute the dandelion greens until wilted but not soggy.

Transfer to a small serving bowl.

To serve, spoon the cooked rice into a serving dish. Surround the rice with the small bowls of different vegetables. Add a small pitcher of olive oil; place the lemon wedges on a plate, and put out salt and black pepper grinders. Spoon the pesto into a small bowl.

Invite guests to build their own salads.