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Risoni salad - a week old
Nice risoni

My husband likes to shop and cook and has practically taken over the kitchen – except, of course, for dishes and cleaning. When he had surgery to a hand, I was allowed to plan the menu, buy the food, and cook it. I particularly wanted to try a ‘new’ pasta called risoni or orzo.

Risoni looks a bit like rice and expands to about three times its dry size when cooked. Depending on what else you are dishing up, allow about ½ cup of the raw risoni per person.

It is quicker to cook than rice, taking only seven to eight minutes when tossed in a big pot of salted boiling water.

It has proven to be versatile, is just as tasty hot or cold and, kept in a fridge, cooked risoni dishes covered in cling-wrap or in an airtight container keep for more than a week. If base camping or kayaking, I reckon it would keep well in a container or zip-lock bag wrapped in a wet towel.

Mixed with a little cheese sauce, it makes a tasty alternative to mashed potato to go with meat and veg. Cooked, it can be added to soup or stew just before serving to add some carbohydrate. Best of all, it’s fantastic used as the base of a salad; far better than rice.

Served with strips of fish, pork or chicken laid artfully over a plate of risoni salad, you have a good looking and tasty complete meal.

Risoni salad


  • 1 cup Risoni, cook and drain
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes cut into slivers
  • 1 can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs or salad leaves. I use those which I can grow year round in containers – young leaves and stems of rainbow silver beet, coriander, summer savoury, salad burnet, and parcel which is a cross between parsley and celery. This selection of leaves, combined with the dried tomato, will keep their shape and texture. Provided the salad is kept covered and cool, it is perfectly edible for a week.


Put the cooked Risoni into a big bowl, toss in the corn, tomato and mix together.

Season and stir in the lemon juice and oil dressing. You may prefer to use more oil.

Immediately before serving, mix in the fresh leaves, cut or torn into small pieces.  

– Ruth Henderson