• Black Rice Risotto with Peas, Asparagus & Mushrooms


Black Risotto with Peas, Asparagus & Mushrooms

By Andrew Zimmern

This black rice boasts an intense fragrance, with a chewy texture and roasted, nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with fresh spring vegetables.

Black Rice Risotto with Peas, Asparagus & Mushrooms

Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound golden chanterelles
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh spring peas, blanched and cooled (use frozen and thawed peas if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, plus more for garnish


First, trim the fibrous ends of the asparagus. Cut the asparagus tips off and reserve, then slice the stalks at a 45-degree angle.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. When aromatic and very hot, add the chanterelles and pan roast until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and cook until pan is dry. Next, add the asparagus and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Reserve the mushroom-asparagus mixture to a plate while you make the risotto.

Place the stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and keep hot.

Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When foaming, add the herbs, shallots and garlic. Saute until glassy.

Add the rice and cook, stirring for three minutes. Add the wine and saute about a minute, then add 1 cup of the hot chicken stock.

Stir for the next 5 to 7 minutes until stock is absorbed into the rice. Keep stirring and adding the stock, a cup at a time, until rice is cooked through and the mixture is ‘creamy’ and aromatic. Total cooking will take about 45 minutes (if you are using regular arborio rice, the cooking time will be less). The risotto should not be soupy, but should have some sauce left in the pan when you serve it.

Add the peas, the mushroom-asparagus mixture and the grated parmesan. Cook for a minute or two more to heat through the vegetables. Season and serve, passing additional cheese at the table.

Photographs by Madeleine Hill. 

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