Beetroot and broad bean risotto

A simple but stunning and delicious beetroot and broad bean risotto. Simple enough for a weeknight supper, impressive looking enough for guests

Our garden is coming on so nicely right now. A couple of weeks ago, I thought the broad beans might be ready, so decided to pull up a beetroot and make this tasty risotto dish. Sadly, they were decidedly NOT ready (teeny tiny beans inside those pods!), but luckily we had some in the freezer, so I just used those instead.

The colours on this beetroot and broad bean risotto are crazy beautiful. This serves 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you are, and although it’s super simple, I think it’s easily impressive looking enough to serve people at a dinner party, with a nice salad and a bit of crusty bread.


  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups risotto rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 large beetroot (you can either prepare a raw one by roasting in the oven for an hour, peeling and chopping up, or just use 1-2 of the pre-prepared ones you get in the salad aisle of the supermarket)
  • 1 cup broad beans
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Olive oil, salt, black pepper

Step one: Put the broad beans into some boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the beans from the water using a slotted spoon and dunk straight into cold water. To shell or not to shell the beans? That’s up to you. I did about half and then got bored. Some people hate the outer skin of the beans. I think it’s full of fibre. Keep the water you cooked the beans in.

Step two: On a low heat, lightly fry off the red onion and carrot in around a tablespoon of olive oil.

Step three: Once the vegetables have softened, add in the risotto rice and coat in the onions, carrots and oil. Cook for around one minute, and then add the white wine. Stir, stir, stir.

Step three: Once the wine has been absorbed, add a cupful of the water you cooked the broad beans in. Stir, stir, stir. Each time the water is absorbed, add a bit more. Keep stirring.

Step four: After the wine and 2 cups of water have been absorbed, add in the chopped beetroot, tomatoes and 3/4 of the thyme. Add more water. Stir.

Step five: Once the risotto rice is just cooked through (this should take around 20-25 minutes, but the only way to be sure is to taste it), add in 3/4 of the parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Stir through and let rest for a couple of minutes, off the heat.

Step six: Serve in bowls and top with a handful of broad beans, a sprinkle of parmesan and a few thyme leaves. Delicious and wow, what a stunner!

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