If you’ve ever had a well-made risotto, then you know just how incredible this dish can be! Just think of that delicious, creamy rice. Then imagine it seasoned perfectly and served up right out of the pan. It’s the ultimate comfort food. But wait, did we say creamy? Well yes, but don’t fret, because our beet risotto recipe is vegan! In fact, risotto’s creamy texture comes from the rice. You don’t need dairy at all!
It’s all in the Rice
We mean that literally! The rice varieties used for risotto – arborio, for example – are high in a starch called amylopectin. This gives the rice a chewier texture than other types. When the rice is cooked in liquid, it releases this starch. Suddenly, the dish becomes rich and creamy. You see? No dairy!
You’ve surely heard about all the stirring needed to make risotto. We’ll talk about this later. However, we’ll point out that stirring is really important for creaminess! As the rice grains move around, they rub against each other. This helps break out the starch and really get things going.
Feel the Beet!
We were looking for something a little different when we created this risotto recipe. We settled on red beets, because – well just look at that vibrant color! What’s more, there’s nothing quite like their rich, sweet flavor. For maximum taste, we mixed our beets with their best friends, dill and caraway seed. This classic flavor combination is found in many Eastern European dishes and gives our vegan risotto an aromatic boost!
How to Make Beet Risotto
You may have heard stories of risotto being challenging to cook. Well, we’ll break it down for you, because it’s actually quite easy! Keep these tips in mind while you’re following the recipe:
- No rinsing. If you rinse the rice, you’ll lose all that creamy starch.
- Don’t toast the rice for too long. A couple of minutes is enough.
- Avoid burning the onion. You want it to be translucent, not brown.
- Use tasty vegetable broth. This will ensure your rice has plenty of flavor – but avoid a broth with overpowering flavors.
- Get your broth simmering. And keep it lightly bubbling in a separate pot as you slowly add it to the rice. Cold broth will slow the cooking process and make the rice into glue. Note: the risotto should also be simmering lightly the whole way through.
- Add the broth bit by bit. If you add too much liquid, the rice will float around instead of rubbing together. This means less creaminess.
- Don’t stir too much, or too little. Too much and the cooking process slows, leaving you with gluey rice. Too little and the starch won’t be released. Stir gently and give your arms (and the risotto) an occasional rest.
- Add most other ingredients at the end. You don’t want to add things that will cool the risotto down, right in the middle of cooking it. In this case, that means the beets and nutritional yeast.
What if Your Risotto is …
- Hard or Crunchy: the heat could be too high, leaving the rice soft on the outside and uncooked in the middle.
- Gummy or Gluey: this may be due to using broth that is too cold or stirring too much. Both mistakes cool the risotto down while cooking.
- Runny: try adding the liquid more slowly, and giving it more time to be absorbed into the rice.
- Too Thick: you may need to add more liquid! Otherwise, the risotto may have kept cooking too long after all the liquid was absorbed.
OK – if we’ve done our job you’re now feeling confident about making the perfect beet risotto! If you give this risotto recipe a try, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and a rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better.Print
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