Risotto. You only have to mention the word and you start to envisage luscious mounds of creamy rice just waiting to be devoured. I think its one of those classic Italian meals that are so heartwarmingly good that all you want to do is just eat and eat and eat. And then eat some more.
Tonight I tried my hand at a roasted beetroot variety and I am proud to say I was extremely happy with how it turned out! Served with a crumbling of creamy goats cheese, the sweet aromatic flavour of thyme works wonderfully with the earthy beetroot and pops of lemon you get from the dressing. Such a great combo! Be sure to make the dressing, it really lifts the dish and cuts through the richness of the cheese and beetroot. If you prefer not to have goats cheese, opt for Danish feta. This dish is also perfect served with chicken or even a side of steak or fish.
So in saying this I am proud to present the very first recipe for sarahsavours, happy cooking!
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs chopped thyme leaves
- 3 (about 500g) beetroot
- 1.5L (6 cups) chicken stock
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 300g arborio rice
- 1/2 cup (125ml) red wine
- 60g unsalted butter
- 120g soft goats cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with foil.
Whisk lemon zest and juice, 2 tbs oil and 1 tbs thyme, season and set aside.
Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast for 45 minutes or until just tender. Cool, then peel and chop. Place beetroot on tray, then drizzle with 2 tbs oil and roast for a further 15 minutes or until starting to caramelise.
Whiz half the beetroot with 400ml stock until a smooth puree. Pass through a sieve into a saucepan with remaining stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and keep warm.
Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a pan over medium-low heat, then add onion, garlic and remaining 1 tbs thyme and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the grains. Add wine and simmer until evaporated. Add beetroot stock, a ladleful at a time, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes or until the rice is al dente (you may not need all the stock). Remove from heat and stir in butter and remaining roasted beetroot.
Serve risotto scattered with goats cheese and drizzled with thyme dressing.