Prep Time 15 minutes - 45 minutes - Serves 4
Next to pasta and pizza risotto is my favourite dish to come out of Italy. A dish that requires patience, but a dish that will never disappoint, if done correctly!
And as is a lot of Italian cooking, less is more when it comes to ingredients. So if you love risotto, then this is a recipe you need to try. Of course only if you like beetroot.
150 g of risotto rice such as Arborio.
1 small onion, finely diced.
1 garlic clove, finely diced.
1 stick of celery, finely sliced.
A few springs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped.
1 litre of chicken or veg stock.
180 ml of red wine.
25 g of parmesan, ￼grated.
4 cooked beetroot.
70 g of goat cheese.
1 handful of walnuts.
2 knobs of butter.
50 ml of balsamic vinegar.
The first thing to do is to get the stock on over a medium heat. Then into a separate pan add a drizzle of olive oil and 1 of the knobs of butter. Add the onions, garlic, celery, thyme leaves and season. Slowly fry the veg for 10 minutes or till soft but without colouring.
While the veg is softening take 2 of the beetroots including any juices from the packet and pop into a food processor. Whizz right down so it looks like it’s been grated. Then leave to one side.
Once the veg is done, turn up the heat to high and add the rice. Make sure you keep stirring and after a minute or so the rice will start to go a little translucent. Now pour in the wine and let that reduced till almost gone.
Next stir in the whizzed up beetroot. Turn the heat down to medium to low and add your first ladle of stock and season. Only add one ladle at a time and continue stirring allowing the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next one. This will take around 20 minutes to cook, you want the rice to have a very slight bite to it. Of course, if you prefer the rice more well done just keep cooking and adding stock. You may need a little more or a little less stock so just keep checking the rice. If you run out of stock and need more just add boiling water.
When the rice is almost ready take the remaining 2 beetroots and cut them into quarters. Pop into a saucepan over a high heat with the balsamic vinegar and let the vinegar reduce and coat the beetroots.
Once the risotto is done take the pan off the heat, add the last knob of butter, parmesan, mix well and allow to just sit there for a minute. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Divide the risotto between 2 plates or bowls then place the beetroot quarters on top. Break the goat cheese into nuggets and add to the risotto then scatter the walnuts over the top. To finish off add a few thyme leaves and a drizzle of the extra-virgin olive oil and I like to also add a few pea shoots.