Squid Ink Risotto, known as “Crni Rižot” in Croatia, is a culinary delight that reflects the country’s deep connection to the Adriatic Sea and its bountiful seafood. This unique dish is a beloved part of Croatian coastal cuisine, particularly in regions such as Istria and Dalmatia.
In Croatia, squid ink risotto is prepared with a combination of local ingredients, including fresh squid ink harvested from the Adriatic Sea. The dish begins with the classic risotto base, consisting of Arborio rice cooked slowly in a flavorful broth. The squid ink is then added, infusing the rice with its distinct black color and briny taste.
The result is a visually striking dish that captivates both the eyes and taste buds. The squid ink imparts a rich umami flavor, reminiscent of the sea, which melds perfectly with the creamy texture of the risotto. The dish is often finished with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and garnished with fresh parsley or chopped scallions.
Squid Ink Risotto is a popular choice in Croatian coastal restaurants, offering locals and visitors alike an opportunity to savor the flavors of the sea in a comforting and satisfying dish. Whether enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish alongside freshly grilled seafood, Crni Rižot is a culinary masterpiece that embodies the coastal charm and gastronomic heritage of Croatia.
- 1 cup Arborio rice (or any other short-grain rice suitable for risotto)
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable or fish stock
- 1/4 cup squid ink
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley or chives, chopped (for garnish)
In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable or fish stock over low heat. Keep it warm but not boiling.
In a separate large, deep skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
Add the Arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat it in the oil. Toast the rice for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to turn slightly translucent around the edges.
Pour in the white wine and stir continuously until it is absorbed by the rice.
Begin adding the warm stock to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more stock. Continue this process for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked al dente and has a creamy consistency.
Stir in the squid ink and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until it is well incorporated and the risotto turns a rich black color.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the squid ink already provides a savory flavor.
Serve the squid ink risotto immediately, garnished with fresh parsley or chives for added freshness and visual appeal.