My love of beetroot has been manifested here many times so I'll not go into another ode to the beautifully colored, magnificent tasting and super-healthy root vegetable here.
Beetroot and feta risotto served with spinach (Peedi ja fetarisotto, serveeritud spinatiga):
Serves 4 as an appetizer
3 small beets, boiled and coarsely grated
100 g feta cheese
1 tbsp cream-cheese
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 shalott, chopped
1/4 glass of mirin (rice wine) (2-3 tbsp)
1/4 glass of water (2-3 tbsp)
500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
100 - 150 gr risotto rice
1 tbsp olive oil.
3-4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
Heat olive oil in a deep skillet; add cumin seeds, after 30 sec add shallots. When shallots are tender and glassy, add the rice and mix so all the grains are coated. Mix the mirin with water and add it to the rice, cook until completely reduced. Then add a ladleful of boiling stock and stir well, cook until the liquid has been absorbed, then add more stock. You should use up your stock in 4 - 5 times. The risotto grains should be tender by then.
Stir in the creamed cheese, the beetroot and the chopped sundried tomatoes and finally most of the feta-cheese (leave some for serving).
Taste, season (usually doesn't need any additional salt as the stock and the cheese are salty enough).
Serve with some feta crumbled on top.
I also served it with some garlic-spinach:
200 gr fresh spinach leaves
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Knob of butter
Wash the spinach and put it on a frying pan (with the water that remains on the leaves from washing) on medium heat. Cover the pan and leave the leaves there for 3-4 minutes. If there is any water on the pan, throw it away (can be bitter). Add the butter and the garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is coated with butter.
I found that mirin was really good for risotto, especially with the beetroot, as it is sweeter than regular wine and brought out the deepness and the earthiness of the beets.