Black Risotto with Lemon

Make a statement serving up creamy Black Risotto with Lemon. This dish, made with Italian Venere black rice, is an unexpected and unique addition to any menu. Serve it for a special occasion to wow guests with the bold presentation and rich, nutty flavor.

What is Venere Black Rice?

Venere black rice, or Riso Nero Venere, is a grain that’s native to the northern Italian state of Padana. However, unlike ancient grains that have been enjoyed by Italians and other cultures for centuries like farro and the more common carnaroli rice, this mysterious rice variety is newer on the scene.

It is the result of a hybridization of two other varieties of rice. The resulting grain has a strong aromatic smell and taste that pairs especially well with seafood.

Making Risottos with Venere Black Rice

This simple, classic risotto technique transforms the dark grains into a creamy porridge-like dish that still has plenty of structure and chew. A squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of zest just before serving really brings the dish to life in an unexpected way.

Despite its heavy look and dark color, this Venere black rice risotto actually has the light and bright flavors of springtime. It would be a perfect side dish alongside grilled shrimp, simple roasted salmon, or a whole roasted chicken for a dinner worth sharing.

Serving Suggestions

Be sure to use dry white wine and high-quality Italian extra-virgin olive oil when making your risotto to really highlight the grains’ natural texture and flavor. Serve the dish with slices of lemon on the side for those guests who want an extra puckering squeeze of juice at the table.

Whether you serve your black rice risotto on a weeknight or for a special occasion, everyone is sure to be amazed by your skills. Only you will know how simple, and really quite fun, it is to make!

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