A colourful risotto that's sure to impress! We use the finest authentic European and New Zealand ingredients including Ferron risotto rice from Italy, goat's cheese from France and Kernelz walnut pieces grown in Christchurch. Try it as a delicious lunch or dinner option.

Serves 4-6

2 large beetroot, quartered
J. Friend and Co. honey
Extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
Small handful fresh thyme sprigs
1 Tbsp Forvm Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
75g Kernelz walnut halves
1 Tbsp sugar
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ cups Ferron risotto rice
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
100ml red wine
1 litre chicken stock, simmering
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g Mt. Eliza Blue Monkey cheese
Micro greens, to garnish
Calogiuri or Fig vincotto to serve 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Drizzle beetroot with a little honey and EVO, add fresh thyme sprigs and wrap securely in tinfoil. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. Set aside to cool.

Peel half of the beetroot and purée with the vinegar. Finely dice the remaining beetroot and set aside.

Toss walnuts in sugar in a pan over medium heat until lightly caramelised and toasted. Set aside.

In a heavy-based saucepan, heat a generous splash of EVO and sauté the onion and garlic until soft (the ‘soffrito’). Add rice and chopped thyme and stir continuously for about 3 minutes to ‘toast’ the rice. Add the wine, allowing it to evaporate, followed by the hot stock and puréed beetroot. Stir gently and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until rice is al dente.

Add diced beetroot and season. Rest off-the-heat for two minutes, then ‘mantecare’ - stir the risotto to release the natural starches to make it creamy.

To serve; spoon risotto into bowls and sprinkle over crumbled blue cheese and walnuts. Finish topped with microgreens and a drizzle of fig vincotto.



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