Beetroot Risotto

He's come a long way since Jeeves & Wooster
He's come a long way since Jeeves & Wooster

It’s funny how life can surprise you. I never thought I’d hear myself say the words: ‘I really fancy Hugh Laurie’, but these days a couple of episodes of House are all it takes to inspire hours of increasingly improbable medical fantasies; likewise I never thought I’d go to a football match, only to catch myself a couple of years ago at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light with a couple of Tottenham supporters. And the one thing I really, really, never expected to find myself doing was eating beetroot – the scourge of school dinners with a smell reminiscent of wild boar romping through mud.

But, as the annual brussel sprout I eat at Christmas might indicate, I try to keep an open mind on these matters. On spotting a recipe for Beetroot Risotto in a magazine, and then finding beetroots at 25% off in my local supermarket, I thought I’d give it a go.

And you know what? It’s really rather nice.

I know, you're not convinced, either
I know, you're not convinced, either

For two people, you’ll need:

Two beetroots - the pre-cooked and vacuum packed variety

An onion

A garlic clove

Olive oil

125 g (4 ½ oz) risotto rice

A large splosh of wine, red or white

¾ pt hot water (or stock)

Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese

2 tbsp sour cream

Some dill

Black pepper

Crime Scene Investigates
Crime Scene Investigates

First, pour yourself a glass of wine. You’re going to cook with it anyway so why not? Next, chop your onion and garlic and, in a large deep pan, fry them gently in the oil. Once they’ve softened, stir in your rice, followed by the wine. The recipe I initially used suggests white wine, but I’ve used red and it works really well. In fact, I think I might even prefer red. Keep stirring until the wine is absorbed, and then pour in some of the hot water. You could use stock although I prefer not to. Once the rice has absorbed it, continue ladling in more water. The rice should be bubbling gently but not too dramatically. Allow about fifteen minutes of adding water and stirring (and if you’re like me, slurping that wine). If you’re using dried dill, add it now, but if you’re using fresh, I’d add it at the end.

Next, chop up your beetroot. To avoid looking like a murderer, I put mine in a plastic container and chop it in that, without letting it come into contact with my hands. If you’re feeling smart (and can be bothered with the washing up afterwards) you could blend some of it to make a purée. Check that your rice has softened and then add the beetroot, along with a good helping of Parmesan, the sour cream, the fresh dill if you’re using it and some black pepper. Give it all a good stir and let it heat through.

Amaze your guests
Amaze your guests

There! Weird, but it works.

My partner’s young niece went through a phase of eating nothing but pink food. We should’ve called her bluff with this one.

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Comments 8 comments

Karen Hoy profile image

Karen Hoy 6 years ago from Wiltshire, England

Useful recipe - my husband loves beetroot, but I never know what to do with them when they arrive in the vegetable box (and don't particularly want to do anything with them) so he usually eats them raw! So I'll give this a go, and see what happens!

Riviera Rose profile image

Riviera Rose 6 years ago from South of France Author

Hi Karen, thanks for commenting. It's a strange recipe but, coming from someone who can't stand beetroot, a surprisingly nice one! Good luck and I hope you and your husband enjoy it. I should add that I use the beetroot that's pre-cooked and vacuum packed, I neglected to mention that so will change the hub!

Bianca Rose profile image

Bianca Rose 5 years ago from Australia

Unlike you Riviera Rose, I love beetroot and think that this recipe sounds very appetising, particulary with the dill and sour cream added. And we all know the best thing about cooking risotto is that you have to open a bottle of wine...

Riviera Rose profile image

Riviera Rose 5 years ago from South of France Author

Hi, Bianca Rose, I couldn't agree more!!!

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

Oh, RR I love your writing style, and you my my kind of cook. A recipe that begins with instructions to pour yourself a glass of wine is a winner with me before I even get to the ingredients!!! I love beetroot, especially since growing it in recent years. It has had a revival here in Australia and features in a lot of meals now. I haven't made beetroot risotto however and I am really looking forward to trying it out. I am looking forward to reading more of our hubs.

Riviera Rose profile image

Riviera Rose 5 years ago from South of France Author

Hi Fennelseed, thanks for your lovely comment! I'm still not a complete beetroot convert but this recipe really works for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 3 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I'm not a fan of Hugh Laurie, but I get how things can surprise us (he's English, doing an amazing American role). As in, I'd never think to put beetroot into the company of risotto. It looks awful, but since I love both beets and risotto, I'm going to give your recipe a whirl.

Love your writing style!

Riviera Rose profile image

Riviera Rose 3 years ago from South of France Author

Thanks for the lovely comment, Sally's Trove, and it does look awful, doesn't it?! And yet somehow, against the odds, it works. (A bit like Hugh Laurie's accent.)

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