Beetroot, Basil & Roasted Garlic Risotto

Vegan Beetroot Basil & Roast Garlic Risotto

Recently I’ve been trying to work more beetroot into my diet. I never used to be a fan, because I thought the texture was strange, but the colour and flavour is so irresistible that I was determined to find interesting ways to eat more of it. In terms of its nutritional value, according to one of my favourite sites, beetroot ‘is high in betacarotene and folic acid. Excellent for those wanting to stay healthy as eating it regularly helps cleanse the liver and can assist in lowering incidences of heart disease.’ Good enough for me! Surely that cancels out all of the olive oil?

This recipe came to me after I’d made a dish with a similar flavour combination: beetroot and roasted garlic houmous (yum!) the recipe for which I’ll share with you soon. It seemed to work really well, looks FAB, and the feedback I got from my non-vegan housemates was multiple thumbs-up: the risotto ends up with enough flavour to avoid the usual ‘vegan risotto’ feeling of this-really-needs-parmesan. This recipe feeds 4-6, depending on how big you like your portions and whether you’re having a side salad (something rocket-based would go with this really well!).

You’ll need:

one medium onion, chopped,
one stick of celery, chopped,
400g arborio risotto rice,
150ml white wine,
1.2 litre veg stock,
20-30g pine nuts,
1 bulb garlic,
15g fresh basil,
1tbsp dry basil,
200g cooked beetroot,
olive oil,
sea salt & black pepper.


1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the garlic by removing the outer layers–whilst keeping the cloves together–cutting off the top of the bulb to reveal the tops of all the cloves, drizzling with olive oil, wrapping the bulb in tin foil and popping it in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s useful to have this done before you start everything else, as the risotto won’t take a full 30 minutes.

2) Fry the chopped onion and celery in a large, heavy-bottomed pan, with a splash of olive oil, for 5 minutes (until soft).

3) Add the rice (400g) and a(nother) splash of oil, stir and cook for one or two minutes.

4) Add the white wine (150ml) and let bubble for one minute, then slowly add the stock one ladle at a time, stirring it regularly to stop it sticking to the pan. Leave approx one ladle/200ml of stock spare.

5) Just before adding the last ladle of stock, turn the heat on the risotto down low while you blend the beetroot sauce…

6) The beetroot sauce: blend the roasted garlic (just squeeze the roasted cloves out of their skins–the most satisfying thing to do!) with the cooked beetroot (200g), fresh basil (15-20g) and 100ml water. Stir this mixture into the risotto mix.

7) Mix in 1 tbsp dry basil, season to taste, and simmer. Meanwhile: toast (fry) the pine nuts in olive oil).

8) Serve up the risotto–which should be a bright pink by now–and top with the toasted pine nuts and any spare basil leaves. Enjoy!

Vegan Beetroot Basil & Roast Garlic Risotto


5 Responses to “Beetroot, Basil & Roasted Garlic Risotto”
  1. This look delicious! Glad to hear it fares well with parmesan too. I’m a huge beetroot fan but somehow have never used it in risotto, definitely one to try 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] the great success that was the beetroot, basil and roast garlic risotto I posted recently, I’ve been craving more bright-and-tasty one-pot meals. Risotto is becoming […]

  2. […] time and roast another garlic bulb–and use up the rest of your beetroot–in this beetroot, basil & roasted garlic risotto. Additionally, since you won’t be using a whole can of chickpeas, you could use the leftovers […]

  3. […] of beetroot in the most recent box, and there was so much I couldn’t use it all up in my beetroot risotto or beetroot houmous or both of them together–so here’s a recipe for another way to use […]

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