A hearty Italian rice salad packed with tasty and healthful ingredients including tuna, tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, mushrooms, peas, cubed mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts and diced green pepper. This salad can be served as a side dish or eaten in larger quantities as a light meal.

1 cup long-grain rice—cooked and left to cool (or use leftover rice)
2 artichoke hearts (bottled or canned)
2 tablespoons pine nuts—lightly toasted
2 mushrooms—halved and thinly sliced
6 oz (180g) canned light meat tuna in olive oil—drained and broken into chunks
1/3 cup peas—cooked and cooled
1 large tomato—diced
¼ cup cubed mozzarella cheese
¼ green pepper—diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic—finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

MIX together the rice, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, mushrooms, tuna, peas, tomato, cheese, green pepper and parsley in a bowl. MIX together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until well combined (or shake together in a screw-top jar). POUR the dressing over the rice mixture and mix together gently to thoroughly combine.

Variations: You can vary this salad endlessly—add black or green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers or use red peppers instead of green or finely chopped basil instead of parsley.