Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sea Food and Salicornia Black Venere Risotto

Black Venere rice comes from China, where it was reserved solely for the emperors' use, due to its nutritional and (reputedly) aphrodisiacal qualities. This variety of rice is very difficult and expensive to grow; these days it is cultivated in the Po valley in the north of Italy. The outer husk is ebony-coloured, while the core of the grain is white. The cooking process takes a bit longer than regular rice, and the result is a rice with a strong toasted flavour. Last night I made a seafood risotto using this rice, with mussels, clams, razor-clams, winkles, queen scallops, cockles and salicornia, which is a type of sea-weed, also known as the green bean of the sea.

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