Rice Salad with Soppressata and Mozzarella

This summery rice salad is practically begging to be taken to a picnic. Studded with cheese, olives, fennel, peas, and soppressata, it’s salty and savory and and makes a perfect side dish in warm weather. This dish has strong Italian vibes but I used basmati rice instead of the more typical arborio because hello, I’m Persian.

Rice salad with soppressata and mozzarella


1 1/2 cups basmati rice (10 ounces)

1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cups cubed mozzarella cheese (5 ounces)

4 ounces thinly sliced soppressata, 
sliced into 1/2-inch strips

1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved 

1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup parsley leaves

1/4 cup olive oil


1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the rice over moderate heat until al dente, about 15 minutes. Just before draining, add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain the rice and peas well and add to a large bowl. Drizzle the vinegar over the rice and peas, toss, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the cheese, soppressata, olives, fennel, green onions and parsley to the rice and peas and toss. Drizzle with the olive oil and more vinegar, if desired. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve at room temperature.

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