How to make beetroot spelt risotto

Fresh horseradish gives this dish a strong kick

Kitchen masterclass: as part of our new collaboration with Leiths School of Food and Wine we put the basic skill of chopping onions into practice with a beetroot risotto

Beetroot spelt risotto

Serves 4

1 medium onion
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
​100ml white wine
​600g chicken or vegetable stock
​200g beetroot juice
1 raw beetroot
​200g pearled spelt or pearl barley
​100ml Madeira
30g grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated horseradish
​120g goat’s cheese
A few sprigs of fresh dill, finely chopped

Finely chop the onion. Heat the 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide based pan, add the chopped onion and cook over a gentle heat until soft but not brown. Place the white wine into a small pan, add the stock (chicken or vegetable), bring to the boil and keep warm over a low heat. 

Kitchen skills with LEITHS...how to dice an onion

Peel the beetroot and cut into a very fine dice. Set aside. Place the beetroot juice into a separate saucepan and reduce until ½ the volume. Set aside. Add the pearled spelt or pearl barley to the soft onions and cook over a medium heat until the spelt is frying and starting to colour lightly.

Add the cubed beetroot and Madeira to the pearled spelt or pearl barley and cook until the liquid has reduced by ¾.  Pour in ½ the warmed stock and cook for 10 minutes. Continue adding stock one ladle at a time until the pearled spelt or pearl barley is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed.

Add the reduced beetroot juice and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir in the grated parmesan and horseradish and leave to rest for 3 minutes. Serve garnished with crumbled goat’s cheese and a sprinkle of dill.

Note: While you can use strong bottled horseradish in this recipe, we really do recommend getting hold of fresh horseradish as the flavour works wonderfully in this dish. If you find you have more fresh horseradish than you need, it is easy to grate it and freeze it for future use.

For more Leiths recipes go to leiths.com/blog/recipes

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