Risotto Aphrodite


An unconventional recipe, based on the Italian Risotto tradition, that I created by myself: as the name suggests has indubitable aphrodisiac powers, due to both the strawberries and, that’s a real trick, the somewhat not perfectly cooked black rice. The choice of the rice is mandatory: riso Venere1) (Venus rice, the name gave the inspiration for the recipe).

In fact this is a variation on a well-established Italian recipe, the “ Strawberry Risotto”, reinterpreted with this particular strain of rice which emits light, intriguing vegetal notes.

If well executed is a little indigestible for the stomach, just like a butterfly, and so it activates, nicely, the sympathetic nervous system . Maybe the strongest impression comes from the presentation: imagine a dish covered with black, polished rice with red heart-shaped strawberries slices.

The difficulty is to adapt the Riso Venere to the Risotto technique, which is suitable for much shorter cooking rices (15 min Vs 30+ min) In the risotto technique you have first to sauté the rice in the butter and slowly add cups of warm broth to complete absorption. The starch in the rice makes a creamy ground, the Risotto has to be “all’onda” that means wave-like. So you have to precook the rice for 20 minutes in lightly salted broth and drain it, keeping the broth with the starch to complete.

Ingredients for six portions:

2 tablespoons minced shallot.

1 or 2 tablespoons razor-julienned white or green celery, it must be transparent.

40 g unsalted butter.

400 g Venere rice mandatory, oriental black rice is totally different.

Simmering vegetable broth.

300 g firm strawberries.

1 natural lemon (with not polished skin).


Prepare the lemon butter with 15 grams of butter, ¼ of the external (yellow) part of the lemon's skin and some lemon juice drops. Cook it for 3/5 minutes at low fire.

Cut the strawberries in heart-shaped slices, 3 millimeters thickness is the right size, keep the best ones (half of the total) and mince the remaining part.

Sauté the shallot in the butter remaining on medium/low fire, and when it has turned transparent/golden, add the pre- booked rice with the minced strawberries ; stir the rice into the butter and shallot ground and cook, stirring, over a moderate flame for 5 minutes. Start adding cups of the boiling broth with starch and some starch free broth as well. It will take more or less 10 minutes to complete cooking, adjust the salt if needed, two minutes before completion add the julienned celery and the heart shaped strawberries, be careful while stirring to not ruin the shape. Add the lemon butter (without the skin) stir and cover for 3 minutes.


Serve with Champenois wines, preferably Rosé and not too sparkling . One of the best choice is Franciacorta Saten2) which is not too dry. Cheaper not sparkling Rosé wines are also ok. You can also add a a half glass of Champagne when you sautè the rice in the butter, do it only if you are sure it is not too acid.

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