Roast baby beetroot with beetroot leaf risotto

I have used the leaves from the beetroot in this risotto with the roots roasted seperately. The leaves are similar to silverbeet (Swiss chard) and maintain a little crunch to them after cooking. Roasting the beetroot makes them lovely and sweet (especially with the honey) and gives a nice balance to the more earthy risotto.

When cooking risotto there is no substitute for stirring. Cook the risotto on a gentle heat so it is not bubbling away, and stir gently and constantly. This is the only way of getting the sauce creamy.

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 sprigs of thyme (sticks discarded)
  • 5 handfuls of aborio rice
  • 1 liter of water
  • The leaves from a large bunch of baby beetroot (discard the stems)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Roast baby beetroot

  • The roots from a large bunch of baby beetroot
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method

Risotto

  1. Finely slice the onions and sweet in the butter in a pot on a medium heat.
  2. Once the onions have softened, add the garlic, cumin and thyme and mix.
  3. Add the aborio rice and stir through.
  4. Boil the water on the side in a separate pot – this allows you to slowly add the water to the rice.
  5. Once the rice has turned clear start adding a little water while stirring. It is best to stir in a slow constant direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise but not both) as this allows the starch to come out of the rice and make the sauce creamy.
  6. Once the rice has puffed up and your liquid is draining down, stir in the beetroot leaves and finely grated parmesan
  7. Place the lid on, take off the heat and wrap up in a tea-towel to finish absorbing and cooking.
  8. Taste and season.

Roasted beetroot

  1. Skin your beetroot (unless very fresh) and place in a caserole pot with the oil and salt and place into a preheated oven at 200ºC for 30min to an hour depending on how large your beetroot is. The beetroot is cooked when a knife slides in easily.
  2. Once cooked, add the vinegar and honey and cook with the lid off the pot for a further 10 minutes.

Spoon the risotto on to plates, top with the caramalised roast beetroot and drizzle over some of the roasting juices.

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