Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Beetroot risotto

I'm intrigued to see how many people click on this post since I know beetroot is a bit of a love it or hate it ingredient. The one thing that the food journey I've been on over the last few years has taught me is to ignore all of those irrational food dislikes that I had as a kid; you know the ones that were based on look, texture or name. I used to hate seafood as a kid and for no reason other than the smell. If I'd carried that into adulthood I would have missed out on so many awesome dishes. 

This turns out to be a stunning looking meal, dressed with crumbled goats cheese, walnuts and rocket - it's a real mixture of vivid colour and texture. I know that all sounds a bit camp but I'm trying to tempt you into making this because, once you put it down in front of her, you'll be glad you did. 

How it's done

This one does require a bit of attention and you will need to be by the pan during the cooking process. Thankfully, though, it involves some red wine with plenty left over for you to drink whilst you're creating your masterpiece.

  • 450g cooked beetroot (the vacuum-packed stuff from the supermarket)
  • 600ml of vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • A red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 150ml red wine
  • Some roughly chopped walnuts
  • 125g soft goats' cheese
  • Some rocket leaves

Drain the juice from the packet(s) of beetroot into a measuring jug with the vegetable stock. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the finely chopped onion and garlic; cook these until they have softened. Throw in the rice and dried thyme and stir so that the butter coats all of the grains. 

Pour in the red wine and cook until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, stirring often. Start adding in the stock and beetroot juice one ladle at a time, stirring continuously. Add another ladleful when the liquid from the previous one has been absorbed. Continue doing this for around twenty minutes or until the rice is al dente (i.e. so it is still a little firm).

At this point, chop the beetroot into a small dice and add to the rice along with handful of the chopped walnuts. Cook for a further few minutes, stirring to avoid sticking, before serving on a plate with the rest of the walnuts crumbled over the top along with the goats cheese and some strategically-placed rocket leaves. 

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