Sunday, 25 August 2013

Lemon Thyme and Black Rice Risotto

I purchased some black rice a little while ago.  I don't often come across black rice and when I saw some being sold somewhere or other on one of my day trips, I grabbed a bag.  I had no idea what to do with it, except I knew I wanted to have some so that I could when the time came.

Well whilst going through my kitchen cupboards recently, I came face to face with the bag of black rice fast approaching its best before date.  I did not want to waste the black rice so searched through my many cookbooks for a black rice recipe, typically when you looking for a particular recipe you just cannot find one.  Then I decided to search the worldwideweb and blogosphere and the recipe that caught my attention was one for Black Rice Risotto made by a renowned American celebrity nutritionist Ellie Krieger.  I have to be honest and say that I don't know very much about her cooking and have  only seen her fleetingly a couple of times on satellite T.V whilst channel hopping.   Anyway, I did not follow Ellie Krieger recipe for Black Rice Risotto, but was inspired by it to create my own version (Thank you Ellie). 

I have to let you all know in advance, that this  black rice risotto takes a lot of stirring.  In fact I think this took me almost one hour to make, but it was totally worth it.  My Black Rice Risotto was perked up with home-grown lemon thyme, and topped with feta cheese and spring onions from my fridge.  It was really nice and very from traditional risotto that is a lot more creamier in texture, this one was chewy.

This recipe can be easily made vegan by omitting the feta cheese and replacing it with *balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes.  The red cherry tomatoes would beautifully pierce the velvet aspect of the black rice or you could even stud it with chopped red, golden and green Mediterranean roasted vegetables such as peppers and courgettes.
If any of you have any other ideas as to what I can do with the remaining 250g of black rice, your ideas would be most welcome, as much as I enjoyed this black rice risotto, I would like to try something else. 
I am sharing this recipe with Javelin Warrior's for his Made with Love Mondays;  Karen over at Lavender and Lovage for the August edition of Cooking with Herbs and Nayna at Simply Food who is hosting Lets Cook with Cheese..

Lemon Thyme and Black Rice Risotto
...with Feta and Spring Onions (or see other options above*)
Serves 4
Ingredients3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

2 pints of vegetable stock
250g black rice
salt and pepper to taste

100g feta cheese, sliced into cubes
Small bunch of spring onions, chopped
Additional good extra virgin oil for drizzling
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pan. Add onions and garlic and fry until soft. Then add the rice and stir over a low heat for a couple o f minutes, then stir in the thyme sprigs.
Add the stock, a couple of ladles at a time, stirring frequently until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked but still retaining a bit of chewiness. This will take up to 50 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, before serving remove the thyme sprig.
Top with feta cheese and chopped spring onions.  Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve. 



  1. Although I bet it tastes delicious, there's something I really don't like about black foods, it just doesn't look right to me, black or grey just not the colours for foods in my eyes.

    It took me a while to start eating Aubergines because of their dark colour, so if I can learn to love them I guess I should have a try with black rice, maybe flecked through white rice to begin with :-)

    1. Fair enough Sue :)

      It took me a while with aubergines too, wasn't so much the colour as the texture, now I am okay with it. Don't love it, but I can eat it.

  2. I love black rice, but haven't used tried risotto. Love this idea! I usually simply cook & season as I would any other rice.

  3. Black rice is so beautiful - it reminds me of little jewels - and this risotto sounds nutritious and delicious. Another option for using up more of the rice might be stuffed bell peppers. I know I mom used to make a rice-based stuffing for peppers and I'm sure black rice would work fine...

    1. Thank you for the suggestion, may have to give it a go if nothing else comes to mind.

  4. Interesting, I think I have some weird coloured rice festering in the back of a cupboard somewhere! You reminded me, I must look and see which Cranks cookbook I have, not seen it for yonks. Have a good week Shaheen. x

    1. OOh you intrigue me with weird - what colour is it?

  5. Never cooked with black rice but this dish looks so tempting.Thanks for linking it to lets cook with cheese event.

  6. FABULOUS recipe and such an inventive way of making risotto too! Karen


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