Comments 4

Beetroot Pearled Spelt Risotto

If you have babies, or know babies (by babies here, I mean any children under the age of 12) that love pink, I really think you should cook this for them. They’ll be amazed.

Hate getting messy with beetroot? I got you, they sell it grated or pre-chopped now. Grab some from Tesco or Waitrose if you don’t want to do the beet manhandling yourself.

This is adapted from a good old fashioned back-of-the-box recipe. Do you ever use those? This was my first time paying attention to one.

The reason I decided to adapt it was because it didn’t have anything creamy or anything cheesy in it, and that just won’t do. The brand of pearled spelt (a super smug and healthy alternative to rice, don’t you know) I used was Sharpham Park.

It had been sitting in the back of the cupboard for eons and I thought it was high time I did something with it – hence this recipe.

It’s perfect for a weekend lunch or weeknight dinner, if you’re consciously trying to cram 7 servings of fruit and veg in per day then you might like to serve some greens on the side. Courgettes, perhaps, there are plenty of those around at this time of year.

Serves 3 (or 2 big portions)

150g pearled spelt, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
2-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (depending on how much you like it)
1 cup wine
400-500ml vegetable stock
125g mascarpone
100g cooked grated beetroot
good handful grated grana padano (I use this cause I’m cheap, use parmesan if you want)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan on low (I used my Le Creuset for this one, thanks Nan, best present ever) and gently soften the onions, garlic and celery. Give them about 7-10 minutes, if they start to brown you’ve got the heat on way too high.
  2. Add the pearled spelt and stir until its completely coated in the oil.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium and pour the wine in, cook (stirring) until its evaporated.
  4. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring all the time. Yes, this is tedious, its why I so rarely make risotto.
  5. Once all the stock is added and you’re happy that the spelt is cooked and the onions are nice and soft (just give it a quick taste if you’re not sure), add the grated beetroot.
  6. Invite everybody in the room to marvel at the colour of whats in the pan.
  7. Take the pan off the heat, add the mascarpone and cheese and give it a good stir. You should see a gorgeous bright pink colour now, it’s quite something.
  8. Serve immediately with a little bit of extra grated cheese, and salt and pepper.

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Beetroot Pearled Spelt Risotto


  1. fatpastard says

    Maybe about time I try a risotto without rice. Love the use of mascarpone at the end instead of butter. Nice recipe Cate!

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