This is the risotto I mentioned cooking yesterday. So, so good. Rather obviously this is only something you’re going to like if you like beetroot, although the flavour is both more subtle and more interesting than the ready cooked stuff you can buy and bears only a passing resemblance to the pickled stuff.
The colour is incredibly intense, my camera isn’t great with saturated reds so apologies for the photo quality. This might make a great gory halloween dish with some imaginative serving.
Here’s the recipe that came with the beetroot in my vegetables from Bellfield Organic Nursery*, with my modifications. I’m guessing this serves 4-6, I’ve certainly got a lot of it! Sorry for the mix of metric and imperial, it’s how they gave it and how I think so I didn’t bother converting.
1 med onion
30g butter – I didn’t measure, just used about a tbsp
400g risotto rice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a tsp of concentrated vegetable stock, you could use buillion powder, a stock cube or if you’re a more dedicated chef than me real stock
50 ml dry sherry, I had none and although I considered buying red wine as a substitute I couldn’t be bothered to go to the shops. If you’ve got something handy though through some in.
lemon juice, they used half a real lemon and added the zest, but I didn’t have one
cheese, they specified 90g parmesan but I don’t eat cow’s milk so I used manchego
1tbsp parsley, which would have been nice if my parsley plant was still alive
Fry the onion in the butter in a large heavy bottomed pan over a low heat. Peel and chop the beetroot into small chunks and add to the onion when it’s transparent. Stir and cover for 10 mins.
Add the rice, garlic and concentrated stock to the onion and beetroot. Cook for a few minutes, boil the kettle and add a little boiling water to the pan. You’re supposed to stir risotto constantly adding more water when it’s been absorbed. I’m lazy so I just stir it a bit every time I add more water. I’ve tried both and it’s honestly never made a difference. Continue adding water until the rice is tender and you’re happy with the consistency.
Add the lemon juice and season. Serve with finely grated cheese sprinkled on top. If your beetroot is really fresh this would be great served with the leaves, I’d already eaten mine though.
*A few people asked where I got my veggies from and whether I’d recommend them. There are lots of options in this area but I choose this company on the recommendation of a friend and also because they seemed to be a small company that was directly involved in all stages of the process. I haven’t tried any of the other schemes so it’s difficult to make comparisons, but I’m happy with the service and the quality of the vegetables although I’m not so sure about the fruit. I’m liking the current local apples, but there is some non-local stuff that I’d rather just buy locally if I wanted it so I think I’m going to cancel the fruit over the winter and just keep the vegetables and super cheap eggs.
Introducing the first in an ongoing series of guest posts. I'm honoured that we're beginning with this vital letter from Emi Ito.
Emi has been outspoken about the cultural appropriation of the kimono in fashion and has helped many makers and designers find a less hurtful approach to naming their patterns and products.