Beetroot & Mint Risotto with Feta Cheese

I’ve got to admit, when I came across the idea of a beetroot risotto, I wasn’t sure, but actually it’s rather fabulous. Although the dish is as rich & creamy as you'd expect a risotto to be, the fresh, almost cut-grass flavour of the beetroot really lightens it up. I've added a pinch of fresh mint, since beetroot and mint make perfect partners, and a sprinkling of feta cheese to finish it off.

3 fresh beetroot
1 onion
2 sticks of celery
2 fat garlic cloves
A glass of white wine
Olive oil
200g risotto rice
2 pints of vegetable stock
A small handful of fresh mint
Feta cheese, to serve

Serves 2

Start by peeling and finely chopping the onions, garlic and celery. Melt a generous scoop of butter in a saucepan, and then add the vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil. Allow to sizzle gently until the vegetables are nicely softened, but keep an eye on them, as you don't want them to start colouring. Next, add the rice and stir through, allowing it to fry for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and pour in the wine. Keep the rice moving as the liquid cooks down, then start adding the stock a bit at a time, stirring regularly and allowing it all to be absorbed before adding any more.

Once the rice is almost cooked, prepare the beetroot. Peel and grate it - I used the grater attachment in my food processor to stop it all getting too messy, but you could do it with an ordinary cheese grater. You'll just need to give your hands a good scrub afterwards! Add the grated beetroot and the liquid to the pan and stir through until the risotto is a uniform deep pink throughout. Keep adding stock (or hot water, if you run out) until the rice is perfectly cooked. To serve, crumble fresh feta over the top & sprinkle with fresh mint leaves.