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Diana Henry’s Beetroot Risotto with Lancashire Cheese

This recipe for Diana Henry’s Beetroot Risotto with Lancashire Cheese has been reproduced courtesy of

Beetroot is enjoying something of a revival as people discover there’s more to this great British vegetable than they thought. You can now buy beetroot in so many different ways – raw, cooked, marinated, lightly pickled - there’s so much more to beetroot than the jar of pickled beetroot many of us will remember from our childhood.

To find out more about beetroot, its history, health benefits and lots of exciting ways to cook with it <click here> or visit

Diana says: “You can serve this as you would any risotto – with grated pecorino or parmesan on the side – but I like a subtler cheese with it, and since it isn’t a strictly Italian dish I think it’s alright to use something unexpected. Crumbly Lancashire is perfect and a great partner for the beetroot. Do use a good, well flavoured chicken stock, preferably home-made.”

Ingredients for Beetroot Risotto with Lancashire Cheese

30g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
400g cooked beetroot, chopped into cubes
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped?
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped?
Leaves from 1 sprig of fresh thyme
900ml chicken stock?
250g risotto rice?
125ml dry vermouth ?
2 tbsp double cream (optional)
110g pecorino, grated?
small handful fresh parsley, chopped?(about 3 tbsp)
salt and freshly ground black pepper?

To serve:
Lancashire cheese, grated

Beetroot RisottoHow to make Beetroot Risotto with Lancashire Cheese

  • Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  • Add the chopped beetroot, shallots, garlic and thyme leaves.
  • Cook gently for 3 minutes until the onion has softened, but hasn’t coloured.
  • Heat the stock to simmering point.
  • Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat all the grains in the buttery mixture.
  • Cook, stirring, for another 1 - 2 minutes until the grains begin to look translucent.
  • Add the vermouth to the pan and allow it to bubble up and reduce slightly.
  • Add a ladleful of the simmering stock, and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, as the liquid is absorbed, stirring between each addition. You have to stir constantly.
  • Cook the rice until the grains are tender but still have a little bite. It will take at least 20 minutes.
  • This risotto really does need quite a lot of salt but if you’ve used good home-made stock the dish should already be quite salty.
  • Add the cream if you’re using it (it makes the dish richer and also a paler colour so it’s up to you whether you want it at all), the pecorino and parsley.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Diana Henry

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