Beetroot and Stilton Risotto

I was hesitant about putting this on the blog as I know it’s my third risotto but it’s so different from the other two posts that it merits a post. Also I was quite keen to see how a slow-cooker risotto would come out compared to the usual standing over a pan. There wasn’t much of a difference – maybe a little bit more liquidy but that could have been due to the beetroot which I did use more of than the recipe just due to the size of the packets. My husband has kindly informed me that my picture looks a mess but trust me, it tastes better than it looks. You could switch it up a bit and use goats cheese which is a classic combination with beetroot. I got this recipe from ‘Vegetarian Slow-Cooker’ by Libby Silbermann.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 400g beetroots (I got the pre-roasted vac packed beetroot)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • olive oil
  • 100ml water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 250g arborio rice
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g walnuts
  • 100g stilton
  • salt and pepper
  • 10g dill

Method

1.) Peel and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, fry for 5 minutes until soft.

2.) In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic then add to the onions after 5 minutes with the fennel seeds and fry for another couple of minutes.

3.) Add the rice and toast lightly for a couple of minutes. Then pour in the wine and reduce down.

4.) While this is reducing, make up the vegetable stock and add 2/3 of the beetroot to a food processor/blender. If using a blender, also add the water. If not, add the water to the mixture afterwards.

5.) Add the rice mixture and the beetroot puree to the slow cooker with the vegetable stock. Cook on a high-heat for 2 hours.

6.) In the meantime, break up the walnuts and lightly toast in a frying pan until starting to be fragrant. Chop up the remaining beetroot into cubes. Chop up the stilton. Finely chop the dill.

7.) When the slow cooker is ready, add the stilton to the pan and stir to melt. Stir through the dill and top with walnuts to serve.

Leek, Cheese and Pine Nut Risotto

I really love risotto and I loved the look of this one from Gino D’Acampo’s ‘Italian Escape’. I love Gino D’Acampo and our cat’s named after him (kinda). We had to give him an Italian name as his brother is named Figaro after the cat from Pinocchio. I picked the recipe in his book because it used Taleggio cheese which is one of my favourites – a creamy cheese with a slight blue taste to it. As I couldn’t find it, I instead used half St Agur (a mild blue cheese) and half Iberico (similar to Manchego). It was so tasty and now I just need to make it again but with Taleggio to compare.

Serves 4 (large portions)

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 courgette
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 200g Taleggio (100g St Agur/100g Iberico cheese)
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Wash and slice up the leeks. Dice the courgette.

2.) Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the vegetables.

3.) While these are softening, strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Measure out the rice and weigh out the rice.

4.) Add the rice and thyme to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes.

5.) Add the wine to the pan and let it cook off. In the meantime, make up the stock.

6.) Add ladles of the stock at a time to the pan and let them be absorbed.

7.) In the meantime, weigh out the cheese and cut into cubes.

8.) Once all the stock is absorbed, add the cheese and pine nuts and stir through until the cheese is melted. Season and serve.