Earthy and beautiful, this vibrant dish is such fabulous comfort food. One could add a little more cream if you feel the need for a softer hue and creamier texture.
- 15g butter
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 250g risotto rice
- 750ml (3 cups) chicken stock (vegetarians can use vegetable stock), warmed
- 400g beetroot, grated
- 100g pecorino cheese, grated
THYME-INFUSED CREAM (OPTIONAL)
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the butter in a medium pot over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent. Add the risotto rice and fry for about 5 minutes.
Slowly add the stock, a splash at a time, to the risotto, stirring until it is ‘sucked’ into the rice. Continue until all of the stock has been used up. Add half of the beetroot near the beginning, and the other half 15 minutes later. It should take about 35 – 40 minutes to reach a creamy, but not too soft, consistency.
In the meantime, make the thyme-infused of the thyme to the cream in a small pot over low heat and slowly bring to a boil to create an infusion. Season to taste. As soon as it has reached boiling point, turn the heat to very low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the thyme before serving.
If you are serving the risotto without the cream, add the pecorino just before you dish up. If you are serving it with the cream, add the pecorino just before you dish up and add the cream on serving. Garnish with the remaining thyme leaves.