Beetroot Risotto with Walnuts and Goat's Cheese
Add vibrant colour and potent nutrients to your plate with beetroot!
Risottos make brilliant meals – they are extremely versatile and a great way to include a vegetable-based meal during the week. They can be warming in winter and crisp and cheerful in summer.
Benefits of Beetroot
Here are some health benefits of eating this beautiful root vegetable:
Blood pressure. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide, a chemical thought to lower blood pressure.
High in fibre. This helps keep your digestive and immune systems in good nick.
High in betaine, which is essential for proper methylation and detoxifying homocysteine (high levels of which are associated with cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's)
Rich in vitamin C – eat plenty to keep your skin healthy and your immune system supported.
Cholesterol. Beetroot is also a source of phytosterols – the compounds that help reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Detoxification. Beetroot supports the liver’s detoxification process. The betalain pigments in beetroot support your body's Phase 2 detoxification process.
1 litre (1¾pints) vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup walnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
250g (8oz) risotto rice
125ml (3 ½ fl oz) white wine (optional)
300g (11oz) fresh beetroot, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
25g (1oz) butter
50g rindless goat’s cheese
Rocket leaves, to serve
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, then turn the heat right down until barely simmering.
While the stock is heating, toast the walnuts in a frying pan over a medium heat. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil and gently sauté the onions.
Add the rice and stir until well coated.
Add the wine, or if not using, a ladle of stock. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
Continue to add ladleful’s of stock, one at a time, stirring continuously.
After three ladles, add the grated beetroot and garlic and stir well.
Continue to add the stock in batches and stir until the rice is cooked, but still firm (al dente).
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve in individual bowls and top with goat’s cheese, the toasted walnuts and a handful of rocket leaves.