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Roast Beetroot Risotto with Wensleydale Cheese by @coxys_kitchen

This risotto recipe showcases the ‘not-so-humble’ beetroot - hard to miss thanks to its vibrant pink colour; all part of the fun of making this dish

Roast Beetroot Risotto with Wensleydale Cheese by @coxys_kitchen

With an abundance of earthy vegetables around at this time of year, risottos are a fantastic way to show off their versatility.

This risotto recipe showcases the ‘not-so-humble’ beetroot – hard to miss thanks to its vibrant pink colour; all part of the fun of making this dish. Sadly fresh beetroot is often overlooked, but it needn’t be. When roasted in the oven it releases its natural sweetness; a stark contrast to the pickled beetroot you find in jars – and at the back of your fridge months later.

Roasted beetroot pairs well with creamy textures, which is why it’s perfect for oozy risottos. Strong creamy cheeses like soft goat’s cheese or crumbly blue cheeses are also a great friends [with beetroot], as they complement its sweetness perfectly. In this recipe I’m using Wensleydale cheese, inspired by a recent trip to Aysgarth – a small North Yorkshire town close to Wensley, home to the famous Wensleydale cheese. Whilst Wensleydale has a milder flavour than goat’s, or blue cheeses, it finishes the dish off just as well as its stronger counterparts and is a great alternative for diners who prefer more subtle flavours.

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes (1 hour for the beetroot; risotto 40-50 minutes)

Roast Beetroot Risotto with Wensleydale Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 500g of whole raw beetroot, stalks removed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50g butter
  • Olive oil
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 700 – 1000ml hot vegetable stock
  • 30 grated parmesan, or a vegetarian alternative
  • Salt and pepper
  • 125g Wensleydale cheese (swap for soft goats cheese if you prefer)
  • Optional: Rocket or lambs lettuce to garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Wrap each beetroot in tinned foil, then place on a baking tray and roast for 1 hour. When the time is up, remove the beetroot from the oven and leave to cool until cool enough to handle. Use the foil around the beetroot to scrape away the skin; it should come away easily (you may want to wear rubber gloves to do this)
  3. Once the beetroot skin has been removed, chop the majority into 1 cm cubes and rest into wedges so that there are approx. 3 beetroot wedges per serving. Place the wedges back into the oven to keep warm and set the cubed beetroot aside
  4. In a large sauté pan, melt half the butter with a splash of olive oil on a medium heat, then add the onion, celery and garlic and sweat for about 5 minutes until softened and the onions look translucent
  5. Stir in the risotto rice and make sure that each grain is well coated in the butter and oil
  6. Turn the heat up high, then add the wine and leave to cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has evaporated
  7. Turn the heat back down to medium and add a ladle of the hot stock. Stir the risotto continuously until the stock has been absorbed, then repeat the process until at lest 700ml of the stock has gone. Taste a bit of the rice and if it is still chalky, add another ladle of stock and continue to stir. Keep adding a little more stock until the risotto is creamy, but still al dente
  8. Turn off the heat, add the parmesan cheese and stir into the risotto, then add the cubed beetroot and stir through – the risotto will start to turn a vibrant pink colour
  9. Season only with pepper (there is already salt in the stock, parmesan and possibly the butter), then stir in the remaining butter and check the seasoning again and adjust with salt if necessary
  10. Divide the risotto between 4 warmed bowls, top each bowl with the roasted beetroot wedges and crumble the Wensleydale cheese (or pieces of creamy goat’s cheese or crumbly blue cheese) across the top. If using, garnish with rocket or lambs lettuce and finish with a drizzle of olive oil

Fancy another serving?

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