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Beetroot risotto

The thought of making a beetroot risotto wouldn’t have crossed my mind until I read this blog post: http://riponia.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/the-collyweston-slater/ and was sold on the idea. My trusty recipe books didn’t offer any suitable ideas, and I was stumped as to how best to prepare the beetroot. A bit of internet research later I found that essentially there are two schools of thought when it comes to this dish:
Oven-roasting the beetroot: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/12278/creamy-beetroot-risotto
Grating the beetroot and adding with the rice: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/recipes/article6609131.ece
What to do? I tried both! Both made good risottos, but the flavour of the dish with the oven-roasted beetroot was deliciously intense, and the taste of the risotto with grated beetroot just didn’t compare. So here’s the recipe I would recommend after my couple of attempts:

Serves 4

Vegetarian (depending on cheese used), gluten free

Ingredients

1 litre vegetable stock
500g raw beetroot
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
350g arborio rice
100ml white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper
250ml soured cream
100g freshly-grated parmesan

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Peel and trim the beetroots and cut into wedges. Place on a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, season, then cook for 1 hr until the beets are soft. You may also want to turn the beets over during this hour to stop the edges going crispy. Turn them onto kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  2. In a heavy pan, heat the oil and sweat the onion and garlic over a gentle heat until soft, but not coloured.
  3. Add the rice, turn up the heat a little, and stir until well coated in the oil.
  4. Add the wine and let the mixture bubble until the wine has been absorbed.
  5. Add some of the stock and allow to bubble until absorbed. Repeat two or three times until the stock stops being absorbed, then add the remainder of the stock, cover, and simmer gently for 10-15mins until the rice is al dente.
  6. Add the beetroot pieces, season, and cook for a further 1-2mins. Taste and season again if you think it needs it.
  7. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan, stir, cover and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  8. Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream on top. Eat immediately!


This recipe tastes even better made with vegetables from Community Harvest Whetstone :)




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