My new favourite risotto...(beetroot, broad bean, goats cheese and lemon!)

>> Saturday, 24 July 2010

Risotto often features in the house of feedahappylife.

A long day at work, is soon forgotten with 20 minutes of slow stirring and wine quaffing. I enter some kind relaxing trance, while grains glisten and bubble and herby scents rise up and sooth (reading that back, it sounds like a description of a Radox bath - forgive me...).

Until now I have favoured two risottos; a delightful chorizo concoction, with silky, smoky paprika oil running through the creamy bed of rice and a sweet potato, Gorgonzola and pancetta risotto (inspired by Piccolino's version, which has now been taken off the menu - it's a crime!).

However, there is quite a lot of risotto snobbery around. The grains have to be just right, not sticky and not too al dente. The sauce has to be smooth and rich but not gloopy and cloying. The flavours have to be multiple and complementary etc.. etc... Most of the time I ignore this, but sometimes I see a recipe where I think the effort will pay off....

I can't lay claim to this recipe -  it's from Delicious. I also can't tell you it's quick - there is a good 90 minutes of effort required here. However, I can tell you that this is the nicest risotto I've ever had! Providing you like the flavours of sweet earthy beetroot, paired with the piquancy of goats cheese and the tartness of lemon, I promise that you'll love this!

Beetroot risotto with broad beans, goats cheese and lemon thyme oil

Serves 4
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • thyme sprigs
  • 500g beetroot (buy vacuum packs)
  • 1.3 ltrs vegetable stock
  • 5 small shallots (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed or use puree)
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 120ml red wine
  • 200g broad beans
  • 120g goats cheese
  • Seasoning
Step 1: Make your dressing my mixing 3/4 of your oil, with the thyme sprigs and lemon juice and zest. Stir it all together and put to one side

Step 2: Dice your beetroot into 1 cm cubes, toss with 1tbsp of your remaining oil, season and roast in an over (160c/GM4) for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Remove half of the roasted beetroot and puree it with 400ml of your stock. Pass your beetroot liquid through a sieve and then add to the remaining stock in a saucepan. Boil then simmer for a few minutes, before turning off the heat and putting to one side

Step 4: Return the remaining cubed beetroot to the oven and roast until caramelised (about another 15 minutes)

Step 5: Heat remaining oil in a pan and add the chopped shallots. Saute with the garlic for 5 minutes before adding the rice. Coat and cook the rice for about 2 minutes before adding the wine. Allow the wine to simmer and for the rice to absorb.

Step 6: Add a ladle full of beetroot broth at a time, stirring until it has been absorbed before adding the next. It'll take about 20 minutes of doing this before your broth is used and your rice perfectly cooked.

Step 7: Stir through the remaining roasted beetroot

Step 8: Boil your shelled broad beans for 3 minutes (ensure tough skins are removed - you can use frozen for ease!)

Step 9: Place a serving of risotto on a warmed plate. Scatter over the broad beans and crumble the goats cheese. Carefully pour the lemon thyme oil over the top and serve.

I know it's quite a lot of effort, but it's really worth it! Some pan fried pancetta would also work nicely in this too........

Hope you enjoy!
Helen x

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