This is a dish that hits every spot on the list. It’s creamy, it has texture, it’s salty, it’s peppery.. it has sharp goats cheese and walnuts for crunch. To me it’s perfect. Don’t be afraid of a risotto, it’s really simple once you get the hang of it. There is only one rule : once the rice is al dente – serve it. Risotto doesn’t wait for anyone. 😉 I’m not adding any parmezan cheese in this recipe for a reason- the stock and bacon are already salty, and I wanted to balance the sweetness of the beetroot by adding something sharp, that’s why I chose soft goat cheese, and I recommend this combination to you. So, here we go.
What you’ll need to serve 6 people is:
600g of risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli, it’s up to you- I think carnaroli holds up its shape better)
2,5 l of chicken stock
250 g of smoked bacon or pancetta
4 cloves of garlic
8-10 sprigs of thyme
400 g of cooked beetroots- blended until smooth
200ml of red wine
100g of butter
2 red onions- chopped
salt and pepper.
120 g of soft goat cheese
100g of walnuts- roughly chopped
some green watercress, rocket lettuce or other baby lettuce of your choice to garnish.
Before you start- prepare your stock and keep it hot on the burner, ready to be used.
In another pan (big one) fry off the bacon, onion, garlic. When the bacon is lovely and golden add the thyme and deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the rice and fry it off for a few minutes in the bacony juices until it’s a little translucent. Start adding the stock ladle by ladle, while stirring in the same direction. The rice will start to release its starch and the whole thing will become creamy add 1-2 ladles of the stock and a few spoons of the beetroot purée at a time, this way the red colour and the flavour will penetrate the rice. Don’t pay attention to the cooking time on the rice box.. it will always take longer with a risotto. About 20-25 min, but keep tasting the rice as you go. You will know when it’s al dente. When its cooked- turn of the gas and add the cold butter, stir it through until it melts. Ladle the risotto onto deep plates, crumble goat cheese over it, sprinkle with walnuts and garnish with baby lettuce. That’s it 😉