Roast Beetroot Risotto

If you do not have an aversion to pink food then this roast beetroot risotto is one you would enjoy.

Not having the financial means to see an optometrist at a regular practice, I was told about the St Johns Eye Clinic. I started going there in 2002 and they were fantastic. Great equipment and good staff. But, as with all things community driven, it became bad – and sad. Last year I was rushed through my appointment by a sullen optometrist who was cross with people not showing for their appointments. Her rushing resulted in an incorrect script for the left lens. My long distance sunglasses had the left lens changed, but over and above that, the lenses were cut too small and keep dropping out. My computer glasses were also incorrect and that pair had to be fixed. Another eye examination later, and my transition lenses were sent away – but with the wrong script – the optometrist had not written down the new one! And so they too were ‘fixed’ but the single lens replacement means they no longer transition properly. Despite all this frustration I went back again this year, but chose to see another optometrist. This young lady chose not to listen to me when I told her I could not see – she was happy for me to guess the letters! So of course, the end result was that my script was wrong. I went back to sort it out and she treated me like a second class citizen. Now, I am twice her age (about) and well educated, and yet she managed to humiliate me. I can only imagine how the uneducated people who see her feel when they walk out. I chose to get a second opinion and not only was the script wrong, and the angle of the lens incorrect but the lenses themselves had been seated incorrectly. It sounds as if the lens maker is not the best there is. I asked for a refund as I did not want to go back to sort it out given the way I was treated and because it is clear that their manufacturer is not the best. Well, that was a battle. But thankfully we have a good Consumer Protection Act in this country – and it supersedes everything. Refund done and dusted and new glasses being ordered through a new optometrist, and lens maker – albeit at three times the price.

While I wait for the new glasses to be ready for me, I am doing as little as possible nearsighted and computer work! I had the day off work and I chose to make this risotto for lunch. Dave does not like beetroot in any form or manner, unless it is roasted, and this seemed like the perfect time for me to make this dish, as he would not be sharing it with me.

Is there something you love to eat that your partner doesn’t?

Roast Beetroot Risotto
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Roast Beetroot Risotto

Recipe Category: Italian, Vegetarian
All Rights Reserved: an original recipe from Lavender and Lime


  • 12 small beetroot
  • 30 mls olive oil
  • 5 mls plus two pinches salt
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 200 g arborio rice
  • 125 mls vermouth
  • 1 l vegetable stock at a rolling boil
  • 15 mls mascarpone cheese
  • Small handful of micro leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius
  • Toss the beetroot in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt
  • Roast for 20 minutes and allow to cool before dicing
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan
  • Sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft
  • Add the arborio and cook until just toasted
  • Add the vermouth and cook until completely absorbed
  • Add a ladle of the stock and one pinch of salt
  • Mix well and cook until absorbed
  • Add another ladle of the stock and one pinch salt
  • Mix well and cook until absorbed
  • Turn down the heat slightly and continue adding a ladle of the stock at a time
  • Make sure you mix well after each addition and that it is completely absorbed before adding the next ladle
  • Before adding the last ladle, adjust the seasoning - it may need some black pepper at this stage
  • Add the diced beetroot and the last ladle of stock
  • Once it has completely absorbed, remove from the heat and add the mascarpone
  • Garnish with the micro leaves and eat immediately

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