This is a lovely first risotto; it is also the first risotto I made for my son George. He loved the flavour: both the beetroot puree and the homemade stock combine beautifully. If you are hesitant about using beetroot don’t be, it isn’t a strong flavour and it is packed full of nutrition. I make the beetroot puree and homemade stock in advance; otherwise there would be just too many steps to make this recipe easy enough to fit into one manageable day. But, both the puree and the stock (vegetable or chicken) are really useful to have in the freezer, when you are weaning. They can be added to so many other recipes.
This risotto is also complex enough to make for the whole family. So, I have included family size quantities, if you want to make this for the whole family. If you can plan meals where everyone can eat together, it does make life easier. Sadly risotto isn’t suitable for freezing so make the quantities you need (baby size or family size). If you do have leftovers you can bread crumb small balls of cold risotto (flour > egg > breadcrumbs) and fry in oil/ bake in the oven to make arancini. Just make sure the rice is piping hot all the way through, before serving.
to prep ahead ~
To make the beetroot puree:
3 organic beetroot: peel and cook, you can either boil/ or roast with a little olive oil. Cook until soft
3 beetroot should give you roughly 275g of cooked beetroot (give or take).
You will then need around 500ml of (boiled) water to blend into a lovely smooth puree.
You can freeze this puree for up to 3 months
To make homemade vegetable stock
To make homemade chicken stock
To make the risotto ~
(serves 2-3 babies)
small knob of unsalted butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, finely diced
50g risotto rice
350 ml homemade stock, or no added salt stock, or water
80 ml/ g beetroot puree
(serves 4-6 adults)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
300g risotto rice
1.25 litres homemade stock, or no added salt stock, or water
500 ml/g beetroot puree
For extra flavour, you can add (any of the following) at the end of cooking time. These are all totally optional, feel free to pick and choose from the below
handful of shredded spinach leaves
1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
1 teaspoon shredded mint leaves
1 tablespoon natural yogurt
beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium
Combine the stock and beetroot puree in a pan, warm through over a low heat. You will add this to the risotto and it will incorporate better if warm already
In a separate pot melt the butter and olive oil; add the onion and gently soften for around 8-10 mins until translucent. Next add the rice and coat in the oil, butter and onion
Slowly add the stock/ beetroot mix one ladleful at a time. Once the ladleful of the liquid has been absorbed, add the next ladleful, stirring all the time. Continue until all the stock/ beetroot mix has been used up: this process should take around 20 mins (approx)
To finish the risotto add a final knob of butter and cover with a lid, to rest for 5 mins. It’s now ready to eat!
This recipe is not suitable for freezing
n.b. can be suitable from approx 8 months+
~ depending on the softness and texture of risotto and your child