Beetroot and goats’ cheese risotto
Dazzlingly pink, rich and creamy, this easy beetroot risotto is made with ready-cooked beetroot. If you roast it yourself, save the beetroot leaves, wilt them down and stir through the risotto.
- 500g/1lb 2oz cooked beetroot
- 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 30g/1oz butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 300g/10½oz risotto rice
- 1 large sprig thyme
- 100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine
- small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped (optional)
- squeeze lemon juice (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable oil, for deep-fat frying
- handful kale leaves, trimmed, washed and very thoroughly dried
- 150g/5½oz creamy goats’ cheese, crumbled
- 50g/1¾oz Parmesan (or alternative vegetarian hard cheese)
Place half the beetroot with the stock in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Finely chop the remaining beetroot and leave to drain in a colander.
Heat the oil and half the butter in a large casserole dish or saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the risotto rice and thyme until coated in the oil and butter.
Turn the heat to high and pour in the wine. Cook for 1–2 minutes, or until reduced. Turn the heat down to medium and add a ladleful of the beetroot stock. Season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been added. At this point the rice will have a creamy texture but still be al dente.
Beat in the remaining butter and the chopped beetroot. Stir through the herbs, if using, and check the seasoning, you might want to add a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove the thyme sprig.
For the garnish, half-fill a heavy-based saucepan or deep-fat fryer with vegetable oil (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). When it has reached 170C, add the kale leaves a few at a time. Cook for 1 minute, or until crisp and glossy. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
Divide the risotto between four warmed plates and crumble over the goats’ cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan at the table. Garnish with the kale.