This Beetroot Risotto is something of a revelation to me. Unlike traditional Italian risottos, this feels nourishing, and no wonder: it is packed with wonderful earthy flavours, offset by the sharpness of pickled cucumber. The dairy-free combination really works. My son adores it - and he hates cucumber.
Beetroot is almost too fashionable at the moment. You will find beetroot ice cream and sorbet recipes, beetroot cakes and other concoctions. To be honest I found that I was a bit put off by what seemed to be its overuse. Being a 70s child, I was brought up on bottled pickled beetroot which I never really cared for, so it has taken time for me to truly become a convert.
I now use beetroot everyday in my vegetable juices, and have started to experiment with my own beetroot recipes. Truth be told, beetroot is a veritable powerhouse of phytonutrients and vitamins. One important phytochemical is betacyanin, found in beetroot in abundance. Studies have shown betacyanin can inhibit the growth of bladder cancer cells (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27812566).
Beetroot is also rich in so many important nutrients for CanSur management – calcium, iron, vitamin A and C. Its antioxidant content ranks beetroot as one the top ten vegetables in your food arsenal. Beetroot will also increase the number of white blood cells, vital for the immune system. In anti-CanSur maintenance, beetroot really is an essential vegetable to include in your diet.
I have recently begun to cook with pure vegetable juices and this imbues a real freshness to recipes. Obviously, this dish is not low carbohydrate, but occasionally we all need a treat, and this certainly is a healthy one. Additionally, this recipe will provide two portions of vegetables.
You need a juicer for this recipe, but as a CanSur survivor, this is one investment you really do need in your kitchen. Daily fresh juices give you live enzymes, vitamins and minerals in large doses. It’s also a great way to start your day.
If you are not vegan, a dollop of the goat's cheese served on top of the risotto is quite delicious.
Serves 2 – 3
1 medium beetroot
250 mls fresh beetroot juice and celery juice (use 2 large sticks of celery and the rest beetroot)
1 x 500 ml packet of vegetable stock, or 1 tsp of Marigold organic vegetable stock powder with 500 ml filtered water.
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 whole bulb roasted garlic
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 heaped tsp finely chopped rosemary
150 g risotto rice
** 1 cup of Healing Intent
For the cucumber pickle:
½ organic cucumber, peeled, seeded and neatly diced
1 heaped tsp chopped dill
3 tbs raw cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp raw organic honey
red cabbage sprouts, beetroot sprouts, red radish sprouts,
goat's cheese (optional)
1. Scrub the beetroot and simmer for 50 minutes or until tender. Do not cut the root or the top off as this encourages the beetroot to bleed.
2. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and cook for 20 minutes in an oven set to 180C.
3. Allow the beetroot to cool, then peel and cut into even-sized dice and season well. Squeeze the garlic puree from the 'paper' shell into a small bowl and set aside.
4. In another small bowl mix the cider vinegar, chopped dill, salt and raw honey together until incorporated and add the cucumber, stir well and set aside for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile cook the red onion, pureed garlic, ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt and finely chopped rosemary in a little coconut oil over a medium heat. When soft but not coloured stir in the risotto rice and cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes.
5. Heat the stock/Marigold powder with water until boiling and keep warm. Add the beetroot/celery juice to the rice and cook over a low heat until evaporated stirring constantly. Add ladles of the vegetable stock until the rice is soft but a little al dente. Check the seasoning and set aside.
6. Drain the cucumber from the liquid and set aside.
7. To Serve: place a large spoonful of the risotto in the centre of a large plate and scatter a tablespoon of the cucumber pickle and cubed beetroot around the risotto. Garnish with beetroot, sprouts/shoots and walnuts.
** Healing Intent: when cooking foods to heal the body it is important to set your intent. The best way to do this is imagine that you are cooking this dish for yourself or for someone you love who is very ill and that this dish is the only thing that will help in their healing. You will find that the way you handle the food will change, and will not only result in a better dish, but you will feel the food actually nourishing your body and spirit.