I decided to try out a recipe for Venere black rice from Italy. Its bran contains a lot of fiber and the germ many vitamins and minerals. It has a slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and a glossy deep dark color. Simplicity is the signature of this risotto. Taste and texture elevate it to a level you won’t find in standard milled white rice.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour soaking the rice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup (70 g) finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 1/2 cup (300 g) short grain black rice, such as Venere black rice
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine
- 4 cups or more chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 16 large shrimps peeled, deveined, tails left on
- 8-10 green asparagus spears, sliced in about 1 1/2 inches (3,8 cm) long
- 1/4 cup (7 g) flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped for garnish
Heat chicken stock in a pot and let it simmer on a low heat.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add rice and cook stirring until all is well combined. Add wine and continue cooking until wine is no longer visible in the pan. Start adding the stock by ladlefuls to the rice. Stir until stock is absorbed and the rice almost dry. Repeat the process until all stock is used and rice is fully cooked. Add more stock if necessary.
In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp is pink. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside on a plate and keep it warm. Add asparagus pieces to the same pan and cook it for about 3 minutes or until asparagus is just tender. Do not overcook. It will continue cooking once it is added to the black rice. You want the asparagus to still have some “bite”.
Add shrimp and asparagus together with any butter/olive oil sauce left in the pan to the black rice. Give it a gentle stir and serve. A sprinkle of chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil on top is not out of place.