Venere rice, also known as black Venus rice, is a whole-grain rice born in 1997 in Vercelli (Italy) crossing an Asiatic black rice with an Italian type of rice from the Po valley. Venere rice has a distinctive and beautiful ebony colour. Its aroma is very similar to the scent of bread just taken out of the oven. Because of its characteristic flavour, Venere rice is perfect with fish like salmon, fresh or smoked, seafood in general and fresh summer vegetables.

Riso Venere con salmone fresco

Venere rice has a long cooking time because it’s a whole-grain rice. It takes about 40 minutes to boil it but you can use a pressure to cook it more quickly (about 10 minutes). Venus rice could be used also to make risotto but you’ll need to cook it for about 35 minutes or you can cook it using the Pilaf method too (30 minutes in the oven). I always prefer to boil Venere rice because I can keep an eye on it and taste it while cooking to check when it’s ready.

Today I prepared a Venere rice salad with fresh salmon and stir-fried courgettes, seasoned just with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated lemon zest. I then sprinkled on each plate sesame and Nigella seeds and some chopped parsley. I often add seeds in salads, they add a nice texture and Nigella seeds, with their subtle onion-lemony flavour, are great with salmon. A recipe perfect for summer, refreshing, light and healthy.

Riso Venere con salmone e zucchine - close up

Venere rice with salmon and courgette

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Servings:4 people


  • Venere rice: 320 grams
  • salmon fillet, skin removed: 350 grams
  • courgettes , medium: 2
  • garlic: 1 clove
  • lemon , the grated zest: 1
  • salt , to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil , as needed
  • sesame seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • nigella seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • fresh parsley , finely chopped: 1 tbsp


  1. Boil the rice in salted boiling water for 40 minutes, drain well and mix with a tbsp of oil. Let it cool down.
  2. Cut the courgettes into small dices (about 4 mm). Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan with the clove of garlic, stir fry the courgette dices for a couple of minutes on high heat keeping them crunchy. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Cut the salmon into 1.5 cm cubes and cook it in a pan with a little oil just for a couple of minutes.
  4. Put the rice, salmon and courgettes in a big salad bowl, drizzle with oil and add the grated lemon zest. Mix well and serve sprinkling the sesame seeds and the nigella seeds on each plate and some chopped parsley.Riso Venere con salmone fresco e zucchine in insalata