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risotto with yellow beetroots, shrimps, peperoncino oil and sea fennel

Yellow beetroots cannot be substituted by red ones. If you can´t find them, try this risotto with pumpkin

ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 4 € pp)
  • 8 medium shrimps
  • 240 g carnaroli rice
  • A small glass white wine
  • 1,2 litre light stock made of shrimps
  • 2 large or 4 small yellow beetroots
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt
  • EV olive oil
  • Spicy pepperoncino oil
  • 40 gr Parmigiano or Grana cheese
  • Fresh sea fennel or fresh fennel or (last option) fresh mint

Last summer, reading a magnificent book by the great Italian chef Niko Romito (10 lezioni di cucina) I discovered a new way to prepare risotto dishes and obtain an even more creamy texture. Romito suggests to lightly toast the rice without oil or onion, stirring constantly till the point that the grains are too hot to hold them in our hand.

I started practicing this technique and after that my risottos are so creamy that I can put them in rings and present more “luxurious” dishes!!!

Yellow beetroots are marvellous, their taste is milder than the common red ones and they don´t tend to stain everything else. I always buy some when I find at the organic market. This time I decided to prepare a risotto with shrimps, adding a spicy oil to balance the beetroot´s sweet taste.

As always, we begin by preparing a sofrito. We cut in very small dice the onion and the beetroots. We gently sauté the onions and the half amount of the beetroot in olive oil for 5 minutes, keeping the other half for decoration.

Meanwhile we pour the shrimps in 1,2 litre hot and lightly salted water for 3 minutes. We pass the stock from a fine chinois. We remove the shells from the 4 shrimps keeping heads and tails on and we totally peel the remaining ones. We cut the totally peeled ones in small dice and we keep them aside.

We add the beetroot dice we have kept for decoration to the stock and we boil them till tender (not too much).

In a small pan we lightly toast the rice and when it is hot enough, we pour it to the sofrito pan. We add the wine and then we start cooking the risotto, adding a ladle of hot stock, when the liquid starts to get reduced.

While the rice is being prepared, we grind finely the cheese, we cut some fennel flowers and leaves and chop some of them and finally we prepare the oil, mixing (not too hot) pepperoncino spices in olive oil.

When the risotto is almost done, we add some trimmed fennel leaves, the minced shrimps and we remove the pan from the stove. We taste the salt and, if needed, we add some more.

Stirring constantly we start adding some EV olive oil and the cheese. We continue stirring until we obtain a very creamy result, we cover the pan with a lid and we let it stand for 2 minutes.

We place a ring in each plate and we fill it up to 2 fingers height with the risotto. We lightly press the risotto to secure that it will maintain its shape when we remove the ring. We decorate the risotto as shown with one shrimp, a few beetroot dice, sea fennel flowers and leaves and a small portion of pepperoncino oil.

We remove carefully the ring and we serve.


Published in RICE