Salty pecorino is the perfect partner for the sweet and earthy beetroot in this fuss-free oven-baked risotto. Cooking a risotto this way means you don’t have to be chained to the stove, stirring incessantl­y, adding the stock ladle by ladle. To give this dish a slightly Eastern European feel, I have added some caraway and dill to the mix.

• 75 g unsalted butter

• 1 onion, peeled and chopped finely

• 1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed lightly

• 2 garlic cloves, grated finely

• 350g (scant 2 cups) arborio risotto rice

• 150ml (scant ²⁄3 cup) dry white wine

• 350 g raw beetroots, peeled and grated coarsely

• 1 litre (4 cups) hot vegetable stock

• 100 g grated pecorino (or vegetarian alternativ­e), plus extra to serve

• 3 tbsp finely chopped dill

• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Melt 50 g of the butter in a deep pot over a medium heat, leaving the remaining 25 g butter

in the fridge until you need it later. Add the onion and a pinch of salt to the butter in the pot and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes until starting to soften. Now add the caraway seeds and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2. Add the arborio rice and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it from sticking. Now add the wine and allow it to reduce until the pot is nearly dry, continuing to stir regularly. Add the grated beetroot and stir.

3. Now add the stock, a generous grind of black pepper and 1 tsp salt. Allow the risotto to come to simmering point, stir and then pop the pot in the oven, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through.

4. Remove the pot from the oven and stir the risotto one more time.

Cover once again and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir through the remaining chilled 25 g butter, the grated pecorino or vegetarian alternativ­e, 2 tbsp of the chopped dill and a healthy grind of black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt if it needs it. 5. Serve in bowls topped with a little more grated pecorino and the remaining dill.

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