Golden Beetroot Risotto


Now is the time to buy beets; February is the height of their season so they’ll be available in abundance and at a cheap price. When choosing your beetroot make sure to let your not-as-yet stained fingers grasp vegetables no larger than around 6cm in diameter. Anything above this size could hide a slightly woody, unpleasant core. There are a number of ways to prepare your perfectly-sized raw beetroot; roasting and boiling being the most common. The latter is my preferred method, since the skin is exceptionally easy to remove after 20-30 minutes in an unbearably hot, wet environment. Indeed, once cooked all that is required to release the rich flesh of a beet from the shackles of its rather unpalatable outer shell is a small amount of kitchen roll or a damp cloth.

If you’re a proponent of the use of the powerful, dark and more earthy flavour of the average beetroot, feel free to indulge your inner most root-based desires; every inch of the recipe remains the same. As the recipe below states, the inclusion of wine is optional, though it does have the pleasing effect of deepening the flavour of risotto – this is particularly important when using vegetable stock. However, if you’re looking for a slightly lighter, sweeter risotto recipe you could try my recipe for butternut squash and sage risotto.

Golden Beet Risotto {recipe}

Serves 4-6


• 400g arborio rice

• 3 medium golden beets

• 1 small leek, finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock

• 100ml dry white wine (optional)

• 40g salted butter

• A handful of grated parmesan

• Salt and pepper

• Olive oil


1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, adding a pinch of salt and sugar before popping in the beets. Boil for 20-30 minutes, until soft through. Remove the tops, brush the skin off with a cloth, chop into small chunks and purée in a food processor.

2. Meanwhile, fry the leek and garlic in a generous slug of olive oil. Once translucent add the rice and incorporate completely. If using wine, pour it in and cook until absorbed. Start adding the stock, little by little, until it has all been absorbed – this should take around 30 minutes.

3. When the rice is nearly cooked through stir in the beetroot purée and add the butter and parmesan. Remove it from the heat and put the lid on, set aside for 2-3 minutes – this is essential. Season to taste and stir once more before serving immediately – it will wait for no man (or woman).

Cost: Beets are an extremely common root vegetable, this makes them exceedingly frugal – three beets, enough to serve six, should set one back no more than 50p or so. As a result, this supremely flavourful risotto should set one back no more than about £3.20. A delectable price, I’m sure you’ll agree.

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55 comments on “Golden Beetroot Risotto

  1. cookinginsens
    February 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Classy bowl photo.

  2. countrywoodsmoke
    February 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    What a stunning colour, looks almost saffron coloured, a beautiful risotto

  3. flaneriefeminine
    February 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Interesting recipe! Thank you for sharing :-)

  4. narf77
    February 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Here in outer Antipodia, we likes our beets sweet. Steve, the bearded expat, doesn’t. Thus, when we grew our own beets, the very first thing that he did was pickle some “Old school” style with just spiced vinegar and no sugar (GASP!)…the results made him smile (and me twitch so he gets them all to himself 😉 ). I love the flavour of beets, but then I love the flavour of buckwheat, bitter greens, broad beans and brussels sprouts so I am just a freak. We can grow beetroot all year round here in Northern Tasmania so I am going to plant out some golden beetroot and some bullseye (just for the pretties) this time. I just use my hands to remove the beetroot skin as the colour wears off very quickly and I don’t have to deal with shocked members of the general public on a regular basis (read “hermit” 😉 ) so could care less that my fingers look like beacons to a recent murder.
    I just found a most interesting use for beets. Red, gold or any kind makes amazing fermented juice (Kvass) Russian style and you can then use that juice to colour pickled eggs! Nothing like alarming pink pickled eggs with a golden centre. I am thinking of starting a fish and chip shop business just to alarm the customers with my red eyeball pickled eggs! (Good advertising gimmick 😉 ). As usual this recipe is a comfort food triumph. You certainly know your good tucker sir! Cheers for Steve’s dinner tonight :)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Haha – good man! Beets grow all year round in most places I think. I definitely think you should start a fish and chip shop – that would be amazing. Gourmet of course!

      • narf77
        February 13, 2013 at 3:18 am

        Indeed…with the option of vegan fish 😉 now THAT would be a selling point! 😉

  5. Karista
    February 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    What a beautiful and cheerful dish Frugal! I do love Golden beets and adding them to risotto looks and sounds delicious. A local deli and market here prepares the most deliciuos golden beet and ginger udon noodles. I much prefer the golden beet. So nice to see the underused veggie in such a delicious dish. As always… fabulous :)

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks, Karista! That sounds yummy. I much prefer golden too. I try to showcase interesting things as and when 😀

  6. The Table of Zekki
    February 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Nice pictures. Would you serve that with anything else?

  7. poppyleigh-designs
    February 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    This looks fantastic! I love beets!

  8. throve
    February 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    We don’t have golden beets here in New Zealand as far as I know. I did a double take on your risotto and wondered why it wasn’t purple. Lovely colour. I think it’s been too long since I made risotto.

  9. soffiagudrun
    February 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Yeah, i was also expecting pink risotto. That could be nice. I will keep my eyes open for golden, haven’t seen them…

  10. artisticmilestone
    February 11, 2013 at 1:58 am

    what a unique risotto recipe. Too bad its hard to find golden beet in my country.

  11. Catherine
    February 11, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Strangely enough, yellow beets are in season in Australia right now, too – I bought some at the market yesterday (and usually pick mine in about January, when I grow my own).

    I’ll definitely give this a try!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Wonderful! They grown throughout most of the year to be honest.Please do!

  12. Sacha
    February 11, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I love how the beets give the risotto such a beautiful golden color. And I just checked out those cupcakes!

  13. midatlanticcooking
    February 11, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I used to make a red beet risotto at a hotel I worked at. One of the chefs added the beets too soon and the whole thing turned pink. I told the waiter to tell the customer that we were running a special for supporting breast cancer research. 😀

    • frugalfeeding
      February 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Haha – I think it’s nice when it colours the entire risotto though!

  14. emmycooks
    February 11, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I do like the hot pink risotto I get using regular beets, but this looks a bit more refined. :). I peel and grate the beets raw and add them with the first batch of liquid, which also is more rustic but less work. :)

  15. Economies of Kale
    February 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I’ve never heard of golden beets but this looks delicious :)

  16. Carolyn Chan
    February 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    What a beautiful golden colour the beets give the risotto ! I have never even heard of golden beets but thanks for the tip that I can use normal red beets – yum !

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks! Yes, they would work just as well.

  17. Eva Taylor
    February 11, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Your golden beetroot is such a beautiful colour, but i find risotto creamy enough without having to add butter to it.

    • frugalfeeding
      February 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks! Really? Oh, for me butter is a must! flavour wise too.

  18. gemsfoodgems
    February 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    This looks beautiful! No turmeric or saffron as I kinda expected from the picture… It’s all colour from the beets – wow! I will be making this :)

  19. baconbiscuit212
    February 12, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Looks so pretty and sunny, Nick! Bravo!

    and am loving the close-up butter shot. oh yeah :-)

  20. thelittleloaf
    February 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    You know I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a golden beetroot? Will have to remedy that, yum!

  21. kristina
    February 13, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Never knew that the peak beet season is February! That means I must make some more beet pickles and also try out this risotto. Golden beets are my favorite too.

  22. spree
    February 15, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Crikey! What a great recipe! Thanks Nick, it’s a keeper!

  23. Le renard et les raisins
    February 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    What a beautiful dish !
    I love the idea 😉 thanks for sharing !

  24. Pille @ Nami-Nami
    February 20, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I’m a fan of beet risotto – have been baking regular (=red) beet risotto for years, but I’m amazed that golden beetroot risotto would look as gorgeously yellow!!! Need to try this myself a.s.a.p (might even have some small yellow beets in the sandbox in the garage).

  25. Somer
    February 28, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I’ve always been too lazy to make risotto, seems like the endless stirring would drive me batty. Maybe I need to try it. I’m sure the results are worth the effort. Especially when you pair it with those beets.

  26. accordingtocarey
    March 12, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Gorgeous color!

  27. Helma van Oosterum
    January 10, 2014 at 11:05 am

    This looks amazing. I am trying out new recipes with beets, as up till recently i only ever had them pickled. This will be my next recipe to try.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 12, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It’s one of the recipes that changed my attitude to beets!

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