The beautiful vibrant pink of this gorgeous risotto just makes my heart want to sing. It’s the perfect way to make an ordinary dish a little different and have a totally different taste. Years ago I worked as a humble waitress at a rather fancy restaurant back home and this dish was always featured on their summer menu. After I discovered some beetroot in my local supermarket I thought it was about time I recreated that lovely dish. The beetroot gives it such a deep robust flavour without taking away from its overall riosottoiness. You may also be unaware that Korean rice is very suitable for using in a risotto as it’s a short grain. I actually discovered this way back in my first year when I looked at it and said that it looked exactly the same as the Italian Arborio rice. A little research indicated that they were both short grain rices and I decided to give it a whirl. It works perfectly so no need to scour the foreign food mart looking for risotto rice the next time you are in the mood for one.
200g of Korean Rice
1-2 liters of stock (chicken or vegetable)
4 cloves of garlic
25g of butter
100g of Freshly shaved parmesan
1 glass of white wine
1 tablespoon of sour cream (optional)
A small handful of baby spinach (optional)
3-4 walnuts (optional)
Boil the beetroot in water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Then remove the skins, roughly chop and place in the blender. Heat the stock in a pan so that its gently simmering. Add about a cup to the beetroot and blend until they make a beautiful puree, then set aside. Finely chop the onions and garlic then fry for a few minutes in a little olive oil and butter until softened. Then add the rice and cook for a further few minutes until the rice is translucent. Add the glass of wine and stir occasionally until the liquid has evaporated. Then add 1 ladle-full of stock. When the stock has been absorbed add another ladle-full. You will need to do this for about 15-20 minutes adding one ladle-full at a time and letting it absorb before adding the next. Don’t rush it by adding too much stock. When the rice had become soft or aldente you are almost there. Stir in the beetroot puree then add the butter and half the parmesan and stir. Serve in a bowl and top with the baby spinach, sour cream, walnuts (if using), and top with more Parmesan. Voilà the perfect summertime risotto.