25 g (1 oz) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
250 g (8 oz) pack cooked beetroot in natural juice, drained and diced
250 g (8 oz) risotto rice
150 ml (4 pint) red wine
1 litre (14 pints) vegetable stock
2 thyme sprigs
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
150 g (5 oz) mascarpone cheese
vegetarian hard cheese shavings


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2.Stir in the garlic, beetroot and rice and cook for 1 minute, then mix in the wine and stock.
3. Add the thyme and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker pot.
4. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 1-2 hours or until the rice is tender and almost all the stock has been absorbed.
5.Spoon into bowls and top with spoonfuls of the mascarpone mixed with the thyme, a little pepper and a generous sprinkling of vegetarian hard cheese shavings.
6.FOR MUSHROOM & THYME RISOTTO, soak 15 g (2 oz) dried mushrooms in 150 ml (4 pint) boiling water for 15 minutes.
7.Fry the onion in butter and oil as above, then add the garlic, 250 g (8 oz) mixed sliced mushrooms and an extra 25 g (1 oz) butter and fry briefly. Omit the beetroot.
8.Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, then add the soaked mushrooms and their soaking liquid, the red wine, stock, thyme and salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Continue as above.

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