With its shocking colour and earthy flavour, this lip-smacking beetroot risotto is all about show and tell. Serve it as a main course, a starter, or alongside lamb, beef or oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel for a show-stopping main course.
Chef Lapo Magni of Lapos Kitchen in Cape Town shares this beetroot risotto recipe with us. Originally from Florence Italy he won the Italian version of MasterChef in 2013 and plied his trade at many top restaurants throughout Italy and South Africa,
These days he opens his home in the Mother City to small groups of diners who come to enjoy beautiful 4 course dinner experiences that place the spotlight on fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from passionate small-scale producers.
For the Chicken Stock
- 200 g Carrot
- 200 g onion
- 200 g Celery
- 500 g chicken wings
- 200 g tomato puree
- 20 g of black pepper
For the Risotto
- 400 g beetroot, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 onion
- 2 tbls butter
- sprig of thyme
- glass of wine
- 500 g of Arborio rice
- 3 tbls olive oil
- 2 l chicken stock
- 100 g of Parmesan
- 100 g Butter salt
To make the chicken stock place all the ingredients in a large, deep-bottomed pan. Add the cold water and bring to the boil, skim, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer gently for 3-4 hours, skimming as necessary, until it looks clear and slightly amber in colour, then pass the stock through a fine sieve.
To prepare the risotto pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Place the beetroot on an oven tray and toss with a sprig of thyme and 1 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter and pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Puree two-thirds of the roasted beetroot and keep the rest aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil with the rest of the butter in a large saucepan. Place the onion in the pan, then cook for 3-5 mins until translucent. Stir in the rice until well coated with the butter and oil. Pour over the white wine, then let the mixture bubble away for 5 mins whilst continuously stirring. Add a ladle of stock, stir again until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat the process twice more then add the beetroot puree and cubes and stir to combine. Continue to add one ladle of stock at a time allowing for the stock to be absorbed by the rice whilst stirring. Continue for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked al-dente. Season.
Take off the heat and add the butter and parmesan cheese, stir to incorporate, cover with a lid and leave to rest for a few minutes. Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald