3 medium sized beetroots
40 ml / 2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
¾ tsp salt, more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 small shallots or ½ large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
150 g / ¾ cup arborio rice
120 ml / ½ cup white wine
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional) (use parmesan if not vegan)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 stock cube dissolved in 3 cups / 750 ml water (choose whichever stock you prefer)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
vegan ricotta, to garnish (optional and replace with ricotta if not vegan)
- Heat up the oven to 200° C.
- Peel all of the beetroots. Cube one of them into tiny cubes (or grate it coarsely) and chop the other two into 8 wedges each.
- Coat beetroot wedges in 2 tsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a roasting tray. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
- Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan or pot, one that you have a fitted lid for.
- Add in chopped shallots (or onion) and fry on a low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring from time to time.While the shallots are sauteing, heat up your stock in a small pot. Keep it hot until you are done adding it to the risotto.
- Add garlic to the shallots and fry, stirring frequently, until fragrant and softened (about 2 minutes).
- Mix in rice and fry it off for a few seconds, stirring frequently.
- Next add in cubes of beetroot, wine, nutritional yeast, salt, a generous grind of black pepper and fresh thyme. Allow the wine to cook off completely before adding the first small portion (60 ml / ¼ cup or so) of hot stock.
- Keep on adding the stock, in small amounts, until fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next portion. Make sure to stir the rice often to activate the starch, which makes for a creamy risotto.
- Keep on adding the stock to the rice until the rice is almost al dente – i.e. has a small amount of bite to it when tasted. It will take about 15-20 minutes from the moment you first started adding liquid to the pan.
- Taste a grain of rice to make sure it is almost ready. If it is, switch the heat off, cover the pan / pot and allow the risotto to rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small pot and reduce it on low-medium heat until balsamic gets reduced into a thick glaze consistency (balsamic reduction).
- Divide the risotto between 2-3 bowls, top with roasted beets glazed with balsamic reduction and optionally dollop with vegan ricotta.