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.

Coconut Dhal with paneer

Though I’ve already posted a recipe for dhal on this website, the first Tarka Dhal recipe was more gently spiced whereas this one is more of a flavour hit round the chops reminiscent to a curry. This one also you do in the slow-cooker. I served it with paneer which I crisped up in some ghee but I think if you can’t find paneer maybe halloumi would be a good swap though it is a little bit salty. The recipe is also easily made vegan by subbing the ghee for oil. Change the paneer for quorn or serve with a roti instead. This recipe was in Libby Silbermann’s ‘Vegetarian Slow Cooker’. I find most slow-cooker recipes are slow cooking meat and not really substitutable so this is a useful book for me. Things are just getting back to normal in the UK so I was really pleased with how this meal came out whilst waiting for an opportunity to dine out at the Tiffin Room in Manchester (also partly due to watching about 80% of the Euro 2020 tournament on at the moment).

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ghee
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 350g red lentils
  • 1 tin coconut milk (I used light)
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 150g spinach
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • salt and pepper

For the paneer

  • ghee
  • 200g paneer
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds

Method

1.) Peel and chop up the onion finely

2.) Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft

3.) Peel and chop up the garlic and ginger

4.) Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, cumin powder, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry powder and fry for a couple more minutes until fragrant.

5.) Make up the stock and weigh out the lentils. Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker, along with the stock and the lentils.

6.) Cook in the slow cooker for 2 hours on a high setting.

7.) Chop up the coriander and set to one side.

8.) 10 minutes before the dhal is done, add the coriander and spinach to the slow cooker.

9.) Chop up the paneer into cubes, heat 2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan.

10.) Add the paneer to the pan along with the curry leaves and mustard seeds.

11.) Fry until the paneer is golden brown, turning over.

12.) Put some kitchen roll on a plate and move the paneer onto it with a slotted spoon.

13.) Put another layer of kitchen roll on top and press to get rid of some excess oil.

14.) Stir the spinach through the dhal and serve with the crispy paneer.