What did we eat?
October 21, 2011 1:11 PM   Subscribe

What was the black or brown or dark red grain we ate with the aperitivo this week in Milan? It was served as a salad, mixed with green peas, some onion and anchovy. And yummy.

So, mrs. vs and me spent a few days in Milan this week. Yes, enjoyed it greatly, thanks!
We joined the aperitivo one evening at Luca & Andrea on the Naviglio Grande, where they served a dish described above. Descriptive detail limited by the amount of light. The main ingredient was some kind of dark grain, rugby-ball shaped, with two or three ridges along the long end, about 5-6 mm long. Is this a kind of rice, or some other grain? I want it.
posted by gijsvs to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It could have been riso venere (sometimes called "black venus rice" in English). Here's a picture of a dish made with it. Here's a plainer dish.
posted by jedicus at 1:19 PM on October 21, 2011

Best answer: Was it possibly farro? It's more common in Italy than elsewhere. It's brownish, of similar size and VERY tasty.
posted by julthumbscrew at 1:49 PM on October 21, 2011

It does sound like farro; I just had some last night.
posted by rtha at 1:55 PM on October 21, 2011

Response by poster: I looked up a few images of farro, and the shape of the grains looks right, but the colour was definitely darker... Maybe the fish taste was actually squid ink?
posted by gijsvs at 2:26 PM on October 21, 2011

Best answer: You can darken farro by toasting it in a pan before adding liquid; it also could darken from the liquids it's cooked with -- so yeah, squid ink, or some balsamic, or something else could be a possibility.

Hell, even if it's not what you ate in Milan, you should get some -- it's good stuff.
posted by neroli at 3:13 PM on October 21, 2011

Here's some farro cooked with squid ink.
posted by neroli at 3:15 PM on October 21, 2011

I'm guessing squid ink orzo. Not really a grain, but a bit grain-like.
posted by namret at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2011

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