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Welcome Spring! And what better way to do this than by preparing a Creamy beetroot risotto to pay homage to the pink colour of the blossoming trees? Because the typical pink colour of the peach tree is given precisely by the beetroot, which we can buy already cooked, perhaps baked, from our greengrocer.

Creamy beetroot risotto: pink on the plate.

The second star of the risotto is one of my absolute favourite cheeses, namely Gorgonzola, the Italian blue cheese par excellence, whose light spiciness gives the slightly earthy flavour of beetroot a boost of flavour.

Furthermore, you know well I love adding a crunchy touch to risottos, the perfect complement to the creaminess of well-roasted and smooth grains, and a very simple and effective idea are slivers of Jerusalem artichoke and slivers of Parmesan cheese.

ingredienti del risotto cremoso alla barbabietola

The ingredients of creamy beetroot risotto

Jerusalem artichoke: a zero-mileage tuber

Despite the name that makes us think it comes from who knows what distant country, Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous perennial plant with an underground tuber native to the American continent whose name probably comes from the South American Tupinamba tribe that made abundant use of it.

Like potato and tomato, Jerusalem artichoke has adapted perfectly to the climate of our country where it grows wild and almost weedy, especially along watercourses, and we recognise it by its beautiful yellow flowers on tall, straight stalks. So don’t be afraid to buy this kind of lumpy potato: it will be a constant surprise when you eat it raw, as in this risotto, or cooked as a side dish or cream.

So if you are looking for recipes for Easter, simple but surprising recipes and ideas to colour your table, here is a solution! And to complete the menu, try Easter pie.

Creamy beetroot risotto

25.35g carbohydrates per 100g  

 Ingredients for 4 servings

  • approx. 1.5 litres of previously prepared vegetable stock
  • 320g rice
  • 100g baked beetroot
  • 80g Gorgonzola
  • 70g red wine
  • 40g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 30g shallot
  • 30g butter
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese for crisps

Ingredients to complete

  • 1 Jerusalem artichoke
  • Parmesan shavings
  • 2 slices of baked beetroot

Preparation

Put a little oil in a pan and very slowly brown the thinly sliced shallot and diced beetroot. After a few minutes, add a ladle of stock and let it cook for a few minutes. Transfer this vegetable base to a blender and blend to a cream-like mixture.

Start preparing the risotto. Put the rice in a thick-bottomed pan and toast it dry over high heat (it took me 3 minutes to have transparent rice grains with a white core in the centre). Douse the rice with red wine, allow to evaporate, then start adding the boiling stock. Continue stirring and only add stock when the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid. Five minutes from the end of cooking, add the beetroot cream and Gorgonzola cheese to the rice.

When the rice is still al dente, take it away from the heat and proceed with the creaming. Add 30 grams of butter, stirring the rice well so that the starch is released to form a nice creamy mixture, add the grated Parmesan cheese and continue stirring vigorously until all ingredients are perfectly incorporated. Cover the pan with a tea towel and let it rest for 1 minute.

Serve the risotto on hot plates and distribute some very thin slices of Jerusalem artichoke cut with a mandoline, Parmesan shavings and a few cubes of beetroot on the surface.

Il risotto cremoso alla barbabietola pronto per essere gustato

Creamy beetroot risotto ready to be enjoyed

Version with gluten of Creamy beetroot risotto

The recipe contains only naturally gluten free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.

Vegetables are fun, colourful, tasty and healthy. In short, there are many good reasons to use them in the kitchen in the preparation of tasty dishes that can become complete meals. They are never missing from our table, and today I want to propose a perfect recipe for a meal full of that goodness we love so much: Vegetable mix au gratin.

The appearance of the pie will certainly make the vegetables more attractive to the little ones at home, who are generally not very attracted to them, but in this preparation, the presence of other tasty and stringy ingredients will win their aversion… so we will be able to ‘train’ taste so that vegetables become an unfailing companion of all meals. And for this unusual workout, I also recommend the Three-colour flan irresistible!

Vegetable mix au gratin

19.22g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients

  • 700g peeled yellow potatoes
  • 100g yellow pepper
  • 100g red pepper
  • 100g smoked semi-hard cheese
  • 60g red onion
  • 60g extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g pitted green olives*
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 50g breadcrumbs**
  • 1 egg
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft; mash them with a potato masher and let them cool, then season with grated Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, place the thinly sliced red onion in a non-stick frying pan, or wok, with 30g of oil and brown it. Add the diced yellow and red pepper and let it cook for about ten minutes to soften.
  3. Take an oven dish and form a layer of mashed potatoes with half of the mixture, cover it with the sautéed peppers, the green olives cut in half and the slices of smoked cheese. Cover everything with the remaining potatoes, sprinkle the surface with breadcrumbs and drizzle with 30 grams of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Finally, place in a convection oven preheated to 200°C for about 20 minutes, the surface should turn golden.
verdure-gratinate-senza-glutine-uno-chef-per-gaia

Vegetable mix au gratin

Version with gluten of Vegetable mix au gratin

Replace gluten-free breadcrumbs with standard breadcrumbs, no other adaptation is needed.