Heston’s beet and spelt risotto with mustard and baby fennel

Today is an exiting Monday with a yet more exiting recipe from one of the most talented and celebrated Chefs- Heston Blumenthal. I decided that it is time to take a step forward and challenge myself with a recipe from Heston’s at home cookbook. At the same time a chose a simple recipe because I don’t want you to struggle too much when you reproduce it at home.

The recipe is delicious, balanced and visually attractive- ideal for those of you who want to impress with success! Make it for your friends and family and they will talk about your culinary skills for weeks. You will be surprised how easy it is to prepare, but don’t get me wrong, this recipe is one of Heston’s few easy ones! I am leaving the more difficult ones until I am confident that I will execute them successfully and make Heston proud J

I have made one serving today but I will provide you with the full recipe because you will want to invite some guests for sure!

Beetroot and spelt risotto with baby fennel and mustard garnish

Serves 4


  • Pickled beetroot cubes
    • 200 ml White wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp White caster sugar
    • ½ tsp Salt
    • Peeled and cubed raw beetroot
  • Risotto
    • Beetroot juice (or juiced raw beetroots: 500 g yield 200 ml juice)
    • 200 g Pearled spelt (you can use Arborio rice with this recipe if you prefer)
    • Dry Madeira
    • 600 g White chicken stock
  • To finish and serve
    • 30 g Parmesan cheese grated
    • 50 g Acidulated butter
      • For acidulated butter use: 100g peeled and sliced onion, 185 ml dry white wine, 300 g white wine vinegar, 250 g unsalted butter cubed
    • Salt
    • 1 tbsp Crème fraiche
    • 1 fennel bulb
    • Mustard vinaigrette
      • For mustard vinaigrette use: 40 g white wine vinegar, 40 g Dijon mustard, 120g vegetable oil, salt


  1. Start with the pickled beetroot. Cube the beet and mix it into a bowl with the white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Allow it to marinate for 30 min.
  2. Then start the risotto. First pour the beetroot juice into a small sauce pan and reduce the juice by ½ on high heat. Remove and keep aside for later
  3. In a larger sauce pan pour some oil and toast the spelt until its lightly colored (stir continuously)
  4. Add the Madeira and cook until the liquid has reduced by ¾
  5. Warm the stock. Pour half of it on the spelt and stir, allow to cook for 10 min. Keep adding the stock and check continuously until spelt is cooked (ideally the spelt would absorb all the liquid)
  6. Once the spelt is cooked add the reduced beet juice and cook for another 5 min.
  7. Make the acidulated butter. Melt the butter and sweat off the sliced shallot (until its soft with no color). Add the vinegar and white wine and reduce by half.
  8. To serve add the acidulated butter, crème fraiche and a pinch of salt to the risotto. Check for seasoning, and grate the Parmesan cheese.
  9. To garnish prepare the mustard vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegar, oil and mustard with some salt and pepper. Whisk until stable, even consistency. Slice the baby fennel and mix it together with the mustard vinaigrette
  10. Sprinkle the risotto with the marinated beetroot cubes and place the dressed fennel in a pile at the center of the plate

Bon Appetit!

Do you like Heston’s beetroot and spelt risotto? Please post a comment or a tweet on @indigomemoirs! Enjoy!

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