Venere nero rice with chicory, tuna and orange cream
- July 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 30 min, simmering time 30 min
Eleonora Galasso’s black rice salad, with chicory, tuna and orange, would make a beautiful side as part of an alfresco lunch. She says:
”The dark, almost black, venere nero rice is a variety that’s been cultivated for a long time in Italy, in the Po Valley area of northern Italy, where wise Italian women have been cooking it for generations. The rice has remarkable nutritional properties – a high content of minerals and antioxidants that, according to recent studies, may be beneficial to health.”
Check out our black rice salad with roasted carrots, shallots and ricotta for a vegetarian version.
- 23.8g (4.1g saturated)
- 73.5g (5.3g sugars)
- 500g venere nero (black venus) rice (see Know-how)
- 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 300g top-quality tinned tuna in olive oil, drained
- 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp mascarpone
- 10 capers, drained and rinsed
- 6 black peppercorns, crushed
- Juice 2 oranges
- 2 heads chicory, roughly chopped
- Small handful fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp whole pink peppercorns
- Soak the black rice in a bowl half-filled with cold tap water for 30 minutes (see tip).
- Heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the shallots for 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots and the cooking oil to a food processor with the tuna, cannellini beans, fennel seeds, white wine vinegar, mascarpone, capers, peppercorns and orange juice. Whizz to form a sauce with a spoonable consistency. Set aside until ready to serve (see Make Ahead).
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drain the rice, then add it to the pan. Cook for 30-35 minutes until al dente (it should still have a bit of bite).
Scoop out and set aside a cup of the cooking water before draining the rice. Spread out the rice on a baking sheet to cool (see Make Ahead).
- Meanwhile, using the same pan that you used to cook the shallots, warm the remaining 4 tbsp olive oil for a couple of minutes over a medium heat, then add the chopped chicory. Cover with a lid (or with foil) and cook for 15 minutes.
- Toss the tuna sauce and half the chicory through the rice in the pan, adding a little of the reserved cooking water and an extra drizzle of oil, until the rice is well coated. Serve on a platter scattered with the remaining chicory, a handful of coriander leaves and the pink peppercorns. Enjoy warm or cold.
Soaking the rice (step 1) beforehand improves the final texture and shortens the cooking time.
Cook the rice and make the tuna sauce up to 12 hours in advance. Pack the rice and tuna sauce into separate containers, cover and keep in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before stirring the sauce into the rice, along
with the chicory, then serve.
Venere nero, or black venus, rice is a wholegrain rice grown in northern Italy. Despite the colour, it’s not the same as wild rice from the US (which is not true rice, but seeds from a grass), nor the glutinous black rice used in Asian cooking. Look out specifically for Italian-grown rice; in our testing we used Biona black venus rice, from Ocado and Amazon.
Juicy orange and the salty tang of capers point to a citrussy, dry Sicilian white such as grillo or fiano.
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