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Beetroot & Vodka Risotto

Obviously the main reason you'd want to make this dish is because it's just so pretty, but it's also pretty yummy too. Oh, and ridiculously easy. These are lovely fresh organic beetroot from my Riverford box, so they were deliciously sweet and perfect for this. Also great just roasted in the place of potato for a more nutritious side dish.

You will need:

(makes loads)

2 fresh beetroot

1 onion

1 large clove garlic

30-50g grated parmesan

1 litre chicken or veg stock

Shot of vodka

Knob of butter

Approx 350g arborio risotto rice

Dollop of creme fraiche

Optional: smoked mackerel strips

Finely chop the onion and begin softening in a large pan with the butter. Take care not to colour the onion, you're looking for it to become translucent. Chop the beetroot into chunks as small as you can manage - 1cm is ideal - add to the pan and allow them to begin colouring the onions. Then, add crushed garlic and rice, making sure each grain of rice is coated with the liquor, and then indeed add the proper liquor - the vodka - and evaporate.

Begin ladling the stock in gradually, waiting for each ladle to be absorbed before the next. Stir throughout. This should take about 20 mins for your beetroot and rice to be perfectly cooked. Once you're happy with it, add the parmesan and beat in vigorously. This is where the creaminess should come from and I have generally strong feelings about people who put cream in a risotto as a shortcut to this bit.

Here, you can actually add a dollop of creme fraiche if you like. We're not adding it for the texture, but because the flavour is so right with beetroot, and in fact mackerel if you're going to put some on top like me. That's all.

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