Delicious vegan beetroot risotto - a bit of a showstopper this one - creamy, rich with beetroot flavour and so simple to make - plus it's vegan!
I have written about store cupboard essentials and, if like many of us at the moment, you’re feeling the pinch, now is a great time to start stocking up the cupboards with dried goods. The end of the month always leads me to utilizing store cupboard stuff from my fridge and cupboards and hence why I love to make a risotto.
I’m a bit fed up with regular risotto as it seemed like it was our staple diet for so many weeks when I had fussy houseguests so I fancied something different.
In the unlikely book, The Fish Store by Lindsay Bareham, I found an unusual recipe for roast Beetroot Risotto. This seemed like it would be a mood enhancer if nothing else, and with some beetroot rapidly going bad in the fridge, I thought, why not?
This recipe requires the roasting of the beetroots in the oven, which gives them a wonderful sweet, nutty flavour.
I love Beetroot. I have documented my use of the vegetable on this blog before, here and here. I adore its sweetness, the earthiness and the staining of my fingers. It is a much-underused vegetable in Britain which is a shame. For a country that loves sweet vegetables (carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes), the beetroot is woefully neglected, other than being served, pickled, with cheese in a sandwich.
This rich beetroot risotto varies from a ‘normal’ risotto, which is to say this one has a glass of red wine instead of white wine and it also has a good splash of Balsamic Vinegar. It has clotted cream stirred through it at the end and it sharpened up with some lemon juice.
Of course, I didn’t have clotted cream so I used up some plant-based natural yogurt, which seems to last forever in the fridge, sprinkled some vegan parmesan which was stirred through and a flurry of chopped chives as a final flourish.
As for the final taste test? My creamy vegan beetroot risotto has a great deal more depth than a regular risotto bianco. This can be alluded to the addition of the red wine (although this is optional, and I often omit it) and the rich, sticky Balsamic vinegar. The lemon juice is a perfect foil against the rich creamy rice.
Color wise, it wasn’t the vivid Warhol-esque cerise that I had visions of. By the time the extra cream and butter and parmesan were added, it had become a sort of coral color. Very nonetheless and the flavor was pretty sensational.
- beetroot. Roasted is better, but you can use pre-cooked
- risotto rice. I like Arborio and I discuss the other types of risotto rice here
- vegetable stock. I use Marigold Bouillon powder to make a good flavored broth
See recipe card for quantities.
Sauté the onion, garlic and celery in olive oil
Add the risotto rice and coat in the oil
Adding the balsamic vinegar, roast tomato and chopped beets to the risotto
Gradually start adding the stock
See recipe card for full instructions.
Hint: any leftover risotto can be turned into arancini!
I love to use my Ninja Foodi Zerostick Frying Pan (shameless affiliate link) for risotto as you don't need to use as much oil, but any heavy based frying pan or skillet is perfect.
I don't find reheating risotto to be very successful, so I'd suggest turning any leftovers into arancini instead!
I don't particularly like al dente risotto, so I cook it a little bit longer to get it to the texture I enjoy. Don't feel you have to eat something a certain way because it is tradition.
- 4 Beetroot roasted (wrapped in foil, unpeeled and baked for 30 minutes at about 200c)
- 4 Tomatoes large, halved, depipped and roasted at the same time as the beetroot.
- 40 g Vegan Butter
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 200 g Arborio Rice
- 1 Onion peeled, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 Celery stem, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1½ litre Vegetable stock hot
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lemon Juice
- 50 g Natural Yogurt plant based
- Remove the roasted beetroot and tomato from the oven. Remove the skins from both and chop roughly. Leave to one side.
- I roasted mine in my air fryer (Ninja) at 200c, for 25-30 mins on the Roast setting.
- In a sauté pan, gently heat the olive oil and half the butter.
- Soften the onion, celery and garlic in the oil until fragrant. Do not allow to brown.
- Toss in the risotto rice and coat well in the onion/butter mixture.
- Turn the heat up and pour over the balsamic vinegar.
- Once the rice has absorbed the wine/vinegar, stir in the chopped beetroot and tomatoes.
- Pour over the stock, a ladle at a time, not putting more stock in until the last ladleful has been absorbed.
- When the rice is starting to get creamy you can start to add a little more.
- Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to watch over the rice like a new-born child, it won't stick or do anything extraordinarily horrible. It basically cooks itself. You just nourish it with the stock.
- Once it has reached the texture you like, stir in the rest of the butter and the plain yogurt. Also sprinkle over a good pinch of salt. The beetroot is very sweet and benefits greatly from sea salt.
- Cover and leave for five minutes.
- Taste the risotto, add a squeeze of lemon and taste again.