forbidden black rice risotto with prawns and Vermouth

I was sent a big bag of black Venus rice from one of my favourite companies Belazu who stock the best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ingredients, check them out online. So I thought I’d make a recipe that works well with the rice, in Italy they usually serve black rice with seafood so I added giant prawns and I must say its a great combination of flavours. And now I prefer it to normal risotto rice.


Serves 4


320g Black Venere (Venus) rice from Belazu Online

200g of giant prawns, defrosted if frozen

75 ml of vermouth (or 150 ml of white wine)  but you can add more to taste

2 garlic cloves minced

1 onion finely chopped

a sprig of parsley finely chopped

a sprig of basil (optional)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 lemon zested and cut into wedges

1 1/2 litres of hot fish stock, I use a Knorr Fish Stock Pot

2 tablespoons of butter, or replace with olive oil if you are dairy free

Salt and pepper to taste



Prepare the prawns if they still have their shells on, by taking of the shell from the body and leaving the heads and tails on, this is optional but I prefer them like that. Make a shallow cut down the back of its ‘spine’ and remove the black vein and discard. When you have done them all set them aside.

In a heavy pan over a medium heat, melt the butter or olive oil and add the onion and half of the garlic. Cook till the onions are soft, about five minutes. Then add the vermouth half the chopped parsley and rice and stir till the most of the liquid has evaporated. Start adding the stock, about half a cup at a time, stirring continually. This should take about 50 minutes and the risotto should be creamy with a little sauce but not soupy and the rice should be tender. Keep warm.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the rest of the garlic. Fry the prawns for about four minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Serve the risotto on a big serving plate or plates with the prawns on top and sprinkle over the rest of the parsley, the lemon zest and the basil leaves and place the lemon wedges on the side.

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