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Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: summer salad with tuna, peas and cucumbers

Pete Marczyk (who's interviewed in in this chef and tell) and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.

"Cooking in this heat? Only in the morning," admits Barb. This weather, she says, calls for dishes that don't require you to cook naked in your kitchen. "Cold pasta salads are always nice, but other cold salads are good, too," she says, including this recipe for rice salad with tuna, fresh peas and cucumbers that's "bright, easy and cheap to make." True, you have to cook the rice and the peas on the stove top, but if you do your prep in the morning, before the sun turns your kitchen into a sauna, it's bearable. Pair the salad with a chilled pinot grigio, like the $9.99 Serenissima that the Marczyk wine shop currently has on special.

Rice salad with tuna, peas, and cucumbers

Ingredients:

1 cup white rice, rinsed, cooked according to directions, drained, and chilled. 1 pound fresh English peas, shelled, or 1 bag frozen peas, thawed 1 can good quality tuna in oil 1 cucumber, peeled and diced 1 tablespoon minced red onion (or shallot) 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup rice vinegar Salt and pepper to taste Optional: fresh mint and sliced almonds

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Directions:

1. Shell the peas and cook in a pot of boiling salted water for 5-10 minutes, depending on how fresh they are; or cook the frozen ones according to directions. Chil them in a bowl of ice water, drain and set aside. 2. Mix all ingredients together, toss and let the flavors mix for about an hour in the fridge. 3. Add mint or sliced almonds if desired, and serve.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog and Marczyk Fine Wines.

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