Whenever I’m feeling down, I turn to comfort food to lift my spirits. And this Beetroot and Red Wine Risotto recipe does the trick every time. There’s just something about its hearty texture, bursting with earthy flavours, that can brighten even the gloomiest of days. It’s like a warm hug in a bowl of creamy goodness that will have you wanting to make it again and again.
Why I Love this Beetroot and Red Wine Risotto
The combination of sweet beetroot and rich red wine creates a beautiful, deep colour and a unique flavour that will make this dish stand out on any dinner table. Plus, the addition of baby spinach and parmesan cheese adds a fresh, creamy touch that perfectly balances out the other ingredients.
Ingredients you will need
- Beetroot: This earthy vegetable adds a deep and rich flavour to the dish. It’s also packed with nutrients that are good for your health.
- Arborio rice: This short-grain rice is perfect for making risotto because it absorbs the flavours of the ingredients and creates a creamy texture.
- Red wine: The addition of red wine gives this dish a bold and tangy flavour that complements the sweetness of the beetroot.
- Baby spinach leaves: These tender leaves add a fresh and bright flavour to the dish.
- Parmesan cheese: The grated parmesan adds a nutty and salty flavour to the dish, giving it an extra layer of richness.
- Leek: A vegetable that belongs to the onion family and has a mild, sweet flavour.
- Vegetable stock: The vegetable stock is used as a base for the risotto, providing a flavourful and aromatic liquid for the rice to absorb. It adds a depth of flavour to the dish and helps to bring out the earthy notes of the beetroot.
- Olive oil: The olive oil is used to sauté the leek and garlic, adding a subtle and fragrant taste to the dish. It also helps to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan and gives the risotto a silky texture.
- Garlic: The garlic is a key flavour component of the risotto, providing a pungent and sharp taste that complements the sweetness of the beetroot. It is sautéed in olive oil along with the leek to release its flavours and aromas.
- Unsalted butter: The unsalted butter is added at the end of the cooking process to give the risotto a rich and creamy finish. It also adds a subtle sweetness and a velvety texture to the dish. Using unsalted butter will help to control the level of seasoning in the overall dish.
How to Make the Perfect Risotto
Time needed: 20 minutes
Risotto is a classic Italian dish that is often associated with creamy, cheesy goodness and comforting flavours. While it may seem intimidating to make at first, with a few pro tips and the right technique, you can make a delicious risotto that will impress your guests and leave them wanting more.
- Choose the right rice:
The most important ingredient for risotto is the rice. Choose a short-grain rice, such as Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. It can absorb the liquid slowly and release starch, giving the dish its creamy texture.
- Toast the rice:
Before adding the liquid, toast the rice in a little bit of butter or oil. This will give the dish a nutty flavour and help to prevent the rice from becoming mushy.
- Use hot liquid:
It’s important to use hot liquid when making risotto. This will keep the cooking temperature consistent and prevent the rice from becoming too starchy or too mushy.
- Stir constantly:
To achieve a creamy texture, stir the rice constantly while adding the liquid. Only add more liquid once the previous liquid has been absorbed.
- Don’t overcook the rice:
The perfect risotto should have a slightly firm centre, known as “al dente”. Overcooking the rice will result in a mushy texture and the loss of the rice’s flavour.
- Add cheese and butter at the end:
Once the risotto is cooked, remove it from the heat. Add in grated Parmesan cheese and butter, stirring until fully melted and combined.
- Let it rest:
Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavours to meld and the dish to thicken slightly.