Maggie Beer

Beetroot Risotto

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Step 1: Wash the beetroot thoroughly then place in a saucepan of cold salted water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, until they are just tender when tested with a sharp knife or skewer (depending on the size of the beetroot, this could take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour or more).

Step 2: Drain the beetroot, reserving one cup (250 ml) of the cooking liquid, if using young beetroot. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off by hand, then coarsely grate the flesh into a bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Bring the Chicken Stock to the boil in a saucepan and keep warm. If using the reserved cooking liquid, keep it warm over low heat.

Step 4: Meanwhile, melt the butter with two tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, then add the belly bacon and cook for 1 minute.

Step 5: Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly golden.

Step 6: Add the rice and stir to coat, then increase the heat to high. Make a well in the centre of the rice, then add the Verjuice and cook, stirring, until the Verjuice has evaporated.

Step 7: Stir in two teaspoons salt. Reduce the heat to medium and add the reserved cooking liquid, if using, and then the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously and waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding the next.

Step 8: When you have used two-thirds of the stock, stir in the grated beetroot and check for seasoning. Add another ladleful of stock, then stir in the celery. Add the remaining stock, then continue to cook until the rice is al dente and the mixture is thick and syrupy: the total cooking time should be about 20 minutes.

Step 9: Stir in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and grated Parmigiano.

Step 10: Serve with a fresh parsley scattered, a final drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and ground black pepper. Accompany with lemon wedges to squeeze over the risotto. As an option, this is also lovely served with horseradish cream.


  1. 600g 2 large beetroot leaves trimmed, leaving at least 1 cm stalks attached
  2. 1.0L 4 cup Chicken Stock
  3. 100g unsalted butter chopped
  4. 20g 1 smoked belly bacon rasher skin trimmed then chopped
  5. 200g 1 large onion roughly chopped
  6. 125ml 1/2 cup Verjuice
  7. 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  8. 400g 2 cup risotto rice
  9. 1/2 tspn sea salt
  10. 200g 2 sticks celery finely sliced
  11. 75g 1 cup parmigiano reggiano coarsely grated
  12. 80ml 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus extra for drizzling
  13. 20g 1 tbspn horseradish cream
  14. Small handful flat leaf parsley chopped
  15. 1/2 lemon cut in wedges, to serve
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