Friday, 30 January 2009

Risotto of Beetroot, Dill and Florence Fennel

Serves 6

500g beetroot, washed but not peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
300g Florence fennel, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
460g risotto rice
1.75 litres vegetable stock, heated
small bunch of dill, chopped
80g goats' cheese
salt and black pepper

Wrap the beetroot in foil and bake in an oven preheated to 200C/Gas 6 for an hour. Leave them to cool. Peel them and then dice into 1-2cm pieces.
Put the oil in a pan and cook the onion, fennel and garlic very gently until softened. Add the rice and coat it well in the oil. Then add the hot stock gradually a ladleful at a time, stirring all the time, as the liquid is absorbed. Cook it until the rice is al dente. This usually takes 15-20 minutes.
Add the beetroot and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the dill and the cheese.
Allow to stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.

This goes the most amazing colour when you add the beetroot, I expected a change of colour, but nothing quite as dramatic. It was delicious and I'm hoping I've gone a little way to changing my Mum's opinion that risotto is always just mush!

Taken from: Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook

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