Don't be scared of making risotto – it's actually pretty simple. This version, using canned beetroot, involves minimal fuss, looks impressive and tastes great.

Serves: Four


  • 2 x 400g cans beetroot in juice
  • 30g butter
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 6 tablespoons walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 100g goat's milk feta, crumbled
  • 1 small fresh beetroot, peeled, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Micro herbs to serve


  1. Process the canned beetroot and juice in a food processor until smooth. Add a little water and process until you have a pourable consistency. Reserve.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and fry gently until the onion is tender. Add the rice and fry, stirring, for two minutes.
  3. Add 100ml of the beetroot puree to the rice and stir until 2⁄3 of the liquid has been absorbed before adding another 100ml. Continue adding the puree, 100ml at a time, cooking until the rice is al dente and the risotto is moist but spoonable.
  4. Stir in the sugar and season heavily with black pepper.
  5. Combine the walnuts, oil and vinegar.
  6. Serve the risotto topped with the walnut mixture, goat's cheese, sliced beetroot and herbs.

Mmm, are you going to try this dish?

Written by Jo Pearson. First appeared on Image credit: Aaron McClean /

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