Barbie’s Risotto




(Beetroot, hazelnut, goats cheese risotto)

This one is for my best bud (who ironically wasn’t there to enjoy it…? Sorry Katy) as she once ordered it at a restaurant just because it was pink! It makes a lovely vegetarian mid-week meal which I even got a man- yes a man- to eat. Now while most 21st century guys under the age of about 35 are willing to try news flavours and recipes, many, like my pa, are set in their foodie ways and require meat and potatoes somewhere on the dinner plate. But, if I can make my dad eat this princess pink, meat free dish then its certainly do-able. Admittedly, he did grow the beetroot and I am inclined to say that he will in fact eat anything that he has produced from his allotment. As a side note- I mean anything. I was told (burdened) this evening with the news that he had some turnips that he’d grown that are (I quote) ‘Great! They taste like melon!’…..interesting.

Anyway, enjoy the risotto!

Serves 4

  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small glass dry white wine
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • Large handful grated parmesan
  • 300g beetroot
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • To serve- Handful podded broad beans, handful hazelnuts, crumbled goats cheese
  1. If using raw beetroot, first boil for about 40 minutes or until soft, leave to cool and then peel. Reserve a chunk and cut into dice and set aside. Place the remaining beetroot in a food processor and puree until smooth-ish adding a few generous splashes of hot stock to loosen. Set aside until needed.
  2. Toast the hazelnuts in a hot oven for about 5-8 minutes and then coarsely chop. Fry in a little oil in a hot frying pan until golden and then set aside to use for garnish.
  3. Melt half the butter with a splash of oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further few minutes.
  4. Add the rice and fry over a medium-high heat until it starts to turn translucent. When too hot to touch, add the wine and simmer until absorbed.
  5. Turn the heat down to a medium-low and add the hot stock ladle by ladle as it becomes absorbed, stirring all the time keeping the mix on a very gentle simmer. Keep adding stock for about 15-18 minutes until the rice is cooked but with some bite.
  6. When loose in texture and the rice is cooked, stir in the beetroot puree and the beetroot dice. Season to taste, you’ll probably find it needs a generous seasoning of salt.
  7. Add more stock to loosen if necessary and then remove from the heat. Add the remaining butter, the grated parmesan and half the lemon juice, cover with a lid and place the risotto to one side to rest.
  8. When ready to serve, firmly beat the melted butter and cheese into the risotto and season to taste. It should be oozy and runny, not stodgy. Serve spooned into warmed shallow soup bowls, scattered with the broad beans, hazelnuts and a crumbling or  quenelle of goats cheese!

NOTE: See here for my risotto tips