Venere rice with courgette and prawns

Venere rice with courgettes and prawns

Venere rice with courgettes and prawns

If you have never come across this unusual rice let me enlighten you. Venere rice is a black/purply wholegrain rice which has only relatively recently become known. Originally from China, it is now cultivated in Italy too. Would you believe it was served at the Emperor’s of China court? Apparently it was called the forbidden rice as it was said to be a potent aphrodisiac (hence its name. Venere- Venus in English- was the goddess of love). Well, I can’t pronounce myself on that alleged property but what I will say is that it’s got a very interesting look and texture! AND it would seem it is rich in essential amino acids, fibre, phosphorous and Vitamin B5 and is full of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and selenium. It has a high content of anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants. So it would seem this amazing black  rice is very good for your health AND your love life! :-) Unfortunately it is not widely available  here in the UK. I managed to buy a packet in a wholefood shop in London but I have never seen it up North. In Italy, however, you can buy it in any well stocked supermarket. The recipe I am blogging seems to be well known as there are many on the web. I really enjoyed its nutty, unusual flavour and I thought the combination of prawns and courgettes worked really well.

INGREDIENTS

300 gr. Venere rice

2 medium courgettes

1 medium onion

half a glass of white wine

200 gr. prawns

4 tbsp. olive oil

fresh chives or parsley, chopped

METHOD

Boil your Venere rice in a pan of salted water for approx. 40 minutes (check instructions on the packet for cooking time).

Meanwhile in a large pan or wok shallow fry the onion, then add the wine and courgettes and cook until cooked but still with a bit of a bite (approx. 10 minutes). Add your prawns and cook for a few more minutes. Season with a bit of salt. When the rice is cooked add it to the pan and stir well. Sprinkle with some chives or parsley. You can eat hot or cold.

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Enjoy!

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