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.
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For two people, you’ll need:
Two beetroots - the pre-cooked and vacuum packed variety
A garlic clove
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
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.
Other Vegetarian Ideas:
- Pumpkin and Cous Cous Salad
I had this for lunch today and it was delicious! My adaptation of a recipe in Donna Hay's wonderful 'The New Cook' recipe book. It's the sort of thing I love as it looks (and tastes) as if you've been...
- Wild Rice & Zucchini Bake
You know when you catch yourself buying some interesting-looking wild rice and then months later wonder what youre ever going to do with it? Well this is the perfect recipe for you! I was...
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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