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Jan 21, 2009 10:43 AM

Black Rice "Riso Venere" - How to cook?

Hi Everyone,
I was in Italy over the holidays and picked up a copy of "la Cucina Italiana" that had a special feature on Rice and Risotto. They went into a bit of detail on different types of rice and one that I was interested in was a black, short grain rice that they referred to as Riso Venere. They said that it was good with seafood and served as simply as possible.

On my next trip to the grocery store, I bought a box with a recipe that said to boil the rice and serve it will a bit of olive oil and steamed prawns. Does anyone know what this black rice tastes like?

So here are my questions:
1) Can I cook it in a rice cooker, or is it better just boiled in a pot?
2) What should I season it with when cooked?
3) What should I serve it with?


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  1. When I cook with black rice (I use Venere Nero), I boil, drain, and season. Here a couple of pics w/links to some dishes I've made using black rice - Vietnamese black rice and shrimp salad, and black rice and farro served with sea bass.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rubee

      Thanks Rubee, those pictures are great. The meals look delicious.

    2. I have a question on black rice. Since I am doing South Beach, I can only have brown rice, which is less processed than white rice. I have a lovely box of black rice in my pantry, and I am wondering if black rice would be considered as being a type of less processed rice?? Does anyone know?

      1. Is that what is referred to in Asia as "Forbidden Rice"?

        If so you might get some ideas from Asian recipes.

        1. La Cucina Italiana normally gives pretty good instructions on how to cook things, including master recipes, are you sure you're not missing something?

          Anyhow, to answer your questions, I've always made it in the style of pasta. For around 250g (1/2 lb) of rice, bring two litres of salted water to a hard boil, add the rice and reduce to a simmer and cook until done. Strain the rice, toss with butter and/or oil.

          Serve it with seafood. Clams sauteed with garlic, scampi/langoustines, squids braised with wine and tomatoes, etc.

          As for a rice cooker, I've never tried. They steam rice, which is a different technique.