This time of the year is about retreating to your cosy kitchen to create food to cheer yourself up, especially when the weather in Vienna is bleak. And what can be better than some pinkish colorful beetroot risotto with feta and fresh cress on your plate?
The recipe is one of my favorite weekend dinners: simple, healthy and comforting. We are having quite a lot of risotto at home – the only challenging thing is “time” – you have to constantly stand and stir beside the pot. And with my little princess Eve, who won’t let me do a single thing alone – we cook it on weekends, one stirring and the other one playing. Guess who is playing? 🙂
Comforting food of the reason that the red wine and beetroot gives such a wonderful color to the dish. Since I can remember I am in love with beetroots with the deep earthy flavor and through their wonderful color they can look so fabulously dramatic on a plate, bowl or in a glas.
As with much Italian cooking, the success of your meal depends on the quality of your products: red wine, fresh beetroot, cress & stock. Also one of the secrets is to toast risotto rice in butter before adding the stock – this gives a special nutty taste and keeps the grains firm while cooking.
I put the candied walnuts as an optional garnish – if you want my recommendation: add them – you’ll see & taste it’s worth it!
- 60g butter
- 1 onion (about 50g), finely sliced
- 370g risotto rice
- 125ml red wine
- 250g beetroot, cooked & cubed
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- 1,2l vegetable stock
- red pepper corns
- Homemade candied walnuts
- Personally I love using fresh veggies so I start cooking the beetroot a day in advance. Put them in a pot of salted water over medium heat and depending on the size of the beets let them cook for about an hour. The smaller the less time you’ll need. Take them out and let cool before you peel them. I also recommend to put on some cloves the color can be pretty hard to wash off your hands.
- Melt the butter in a non sticky saucepan over a low-medium heat, then fry the onions gently until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rice and cook for another 3 minutes to toast the rice in the butter. Add the red wine and stir until absorbed. Keep adding the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Make sure the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Continue this procedure till half of the stock is used then add the cooked beetroot. Repeat this procedure for about 20 minutes or until the rice is al dente.
- When all the stock has been used up, taste the risotto if the rice is tender and the consistency is as it should be. Each time you cook risotto it will need a different amount of stock – if you think it needs some more vegetable stock – add some and keep tasting. Season well with salt and pepper.
- For decorating the beetroot risotto in the center of my plate I used a small tartring, added the crumbled feta on top and garnished with red peppercorns, cress and candied walnuts.