Beet roots have a tendency to polarize – I am pretty sure I know as many people that absolutely loath them as ones who simply love their earthy, slightly sweet flavour. I am definitely a member of the second category – especially in the winter season, I eat beet root at least once a week. They are a perfect ingredient for soups, salads, or other hearty dishes, and you can even use beet root puree to add some (natural) colour to cakes and desserts!
The only downside of beet root is the vibrant, pink colour it leaves just everywhere – on your fingers, chopping boards and – with bad luck – on your clothes. To reduce the pink mess, I usually buy precooked and already peeled beet roots, even though I mostly prefer to use fresh veggies as much as possible.
On the upside, you get brightly coloured dishes in the end, that will look just amazing on your dinner table – perfect if you want to impress someone or simply want to treat yourself! The vibrant red-pink of this risotto will pop even more if you use white plates or pair it with something in a complementary colour, which is why I served lamb lettuce with a light soy yoghurt dressing along with it. Just remember, you eat with all senses – even with your eyes.
- 100 g risotto rice
- 2 medium sized beet roots, cooked and peeled
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 50 ml white wine
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
- 1 – 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel shallot and garlic und cut each into fine cubes. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium sized pot, add shallot and garlic and gently roast for a couple of minutes. Make sure not to burn it, since garlic will develop a bitter taste once it’s burned!
Add the second tablespoon of olive oil and the risotto rice. Stir well and roast for another couple of minutes before deglazing with the white wine. Simmer for a minute, then add about one quarter of the vegetable stock and simmer until the rice has absorbed the stock.
Meanwhile, finely cube the beet root – you might want to wear gloves for this to avoid having pink fingers for the rest of the day. (If you don’t have kitchen-safe gloves, you can use a freezer bag as ‘glove’ as well.) Add beet root and another quarter of the vegetable stock to the risotto, mix well, and simmer again until the rice has absorbed the fluid.
Add the remaining vegetable stock in the same fashion. You might need a bit more or less then the recommended 300 ml – the risotto should turn out creamy, not dry or soup-like. Mix in nutritional yeast (this will add a lovely ‘cheesy’ flavour) and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Enjoy!
Note: This makes enough for two people.