Black rice? Yes indeed. I've had forbidden rice, a delicious black rice from China, so named because it was once reserved for the Emperors. Today, you can pick up a bag at lots of specialty stores or order it on line. When a friend suggested I try Venere rice, a black aromatic rice from Italy that's a cross between an Italian rice and forbidden rice, I was game.
And so, a black rice risotto (it says on the package you can use it that way). As the rice cooked and I stirred it, adding a ladleful of roasted vegetable broth at a time, the heady, earthy aroma filled the kitchen. Shiitake mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil and then added midway through, gave even more oomph to the dish.
If you can't get your hands on some Venere rice, just use your favorite Arborio rice. The color (sort of purple-black) won't be as striking, but the flavor will be just right. Click below to view the recipe.