2 banana shallots finely diced
1 garlic clove crushed
200ml beetroot juice (500g raw beetroot will yield approx. 200ml fresh juice)
Groundnut or grapeseed oil
200g barley spelt
100g Dry Madeira
600g White chicken stock, or vegetable stock, warmed
4 cooked baby beetroot (blitzed in the food processor to a rough puree)
60g grated parmesan
10g unsalted butter
salt and pepper
To start the risotto, pour the beetroot juice into a small saucepan over a high heat and reduce by half. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a wide-bottomed saucepan with a thin layer of oil and place the pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, sauté until transparent. Add the barley to the pan and toast until lightly coloured, stirring continuously. Then add the Madeira to the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced by three-quarters.
Pour in half of the warmed stock, stir and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Continue adding stock one ladle at a time until the barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the reduced beetroot juice and beetroot puree, continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
To serve, stir the Parmesan, butter and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 mins.
Divide between 4 warm plates and top with some picked leaves and crumbled feta.
This dish has become one of my most favourite things to cook over the last couple of years. The colour is incredible and the texture, in my opinion, better than a rice risotto. Nuttiness, a beautiful firm bite and an unusual creaminess.
A perfect Autumnal whole grain dinner, packed full of flavour and goodness. Super quick and very easy. There are never any leftovers…… always a good sign!