Beetroot Risotto with Mushrooms

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The Story 

Risotto and I have a love-hate relationship. I distinctly remember risotto week during my first year at culinary school and how 90% of the class failed at cooking risotto on their first attempt. I was one of them. Despite having cooked risotto several times prior to culinary school, it wasn't until then that I realized I was doing it wrong all along. From start to finish, a basic risotto recipe should take you no more than 18 minutes. Sounds crazy doesn't it? When my Chef at the time first taught it to the class, I thought he was joking but no it's true! 18 minutes from start to finish will make a perfectly al dente risotto. 

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As a chef, food stylist and food photographer, I'm always on the hunt for inspiration. A few months ago I stumbled upon the account: Our Food Stories on Instagram and I am SO glad that I did! Our Food Stories is run by two food stylists from Berlin: Laura & Nora.

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Their recipes are all gluten-free and vegetarian but none of them will you make you miss meat (if you're a meat-lover like me!). Their styling, recipe development and photography is phenomenal and not to mention, their food stories studio is every stylist and food photographer's dream! Every photograph styled tells a story. After being an avid follower on both their social media + blog, it only made sense to finally head on over to their recipes section and give one of them a try.  

I'm a huge supporter of local, organic produce and in this week's grocery basket from Mama Earth Organics, I got a bunch of fresh beets. This created the perfect opportunity for me to try something unique hence why my eyes went straight to the beetroot risotto recipe. Like most, I'm used to making a classic wild mushroom risotto but I love the spin Laura & Nora took into combining beets in a risotto... Brilliant! 


Beetroot Mushroom Risotto with Mushrooms + Parmesan 

(recipe derived from Our Food Stories, however I tweeked it and added my personal touches along the way)

The Payoff 

  1. Preheat oven to 395 degrees F top/bottom-heat. Peel the beetroots, cut into small cubes, mix with 1 tbsp olive oil (best by hand) and spread on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Put the garlic cloves (unpeeled!) as well on the baking sheet and spread some oregano. Bake for 30 minutes. In the end add spread the honey on the beetroot and bake for another 2min.
  2. Meanwhile chop onion and ginger. Bring water to boil and mix the vegetable broth with 500ml boiling water. Put onions and olive oil into a pot and sauté lightly for 1 minute, then add risotto rice and stir for 2-3 minutes prior to adding some of the vegetable broth and the ginger (turn to low heat). Continue stirring constantly till the broth has evaporated and then add some more. Repeat that process until the risotto is done (al dente).
  3. When the beetroot is done, stir in the risotto rice. cut the garlic cloves and press the soft garlic out, then stir into the risotto. Salt the risotto (if needed). 
  4. Clean the mushrooms, cut into smaller pieces and fry for a few minutes in a pan with some olive oil. Season with chili powder and nutmeg. 
  5. Serve. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beets 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2-3 stems oregano
  • 1 bunch enoki mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup risotto rice
  • 1.5 L vegetable broth
  • 500ml water
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 1-2 tl liquid honey
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • olive oil
  • parmesan cheese 
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