Making this beautiful risotto is so easy! All it takes is a little love and great veggies!

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 15′ Cooks in: 45′ Ready in: 60′

3 cups Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano rice
4 beetroot bulbs, washed, skin on
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
100 gr Cretan graviera cheese
1 heaped tbsp fresh cream cheese
a little fresh thyme, finely chopped + 3-4 sprigs
salt, black pepper freshly ground

Step 1
Boil beetroots in 2 lt of water until softened. Keep 1,5 lt of the liquid. Dissolve the chicken stock cube in the warm liquid. Peel the skin off beetroots. Cut 2 bulbs in cubes and mash the other two.

Step 2
Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook onion until translucent, for 2-3 minutes. Add rice and sauté until rice is translucent, for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Step 3
Add red wine, bring to a simmer, stirring, until absorbed. Add one ladle of stock to rice; simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of stock. Continue adding stock, allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next ladleful. Cook until rice is al dente and mixture is a little loose. Stir in beetroot mash and cubes and a pinch of thyme.

Step 4
Turn off heat. Stir in butter, cream cheese and graviera cheese. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for 1-2 minutes.

Step 5
Divide immediately among four plates, garnish with a thyme sprig and serve.

Photo Vangelis Paterakis / Food styling Antonia Kati