Beetroot and horseradish speltotto

A study published in 2008 examined the effects of ingesting 500 milliliters of beetroot juice in healthy volunteers and found that blood pressure was significantly lowered after ingestion

Top Tip: Do not throw away the green leaves of the beetroot—they are rich in calcium, iron and Vitamins A & C and can be sautéed in a little olive oil, much like spinach

Prep/cooking time: 15 minutes
ingredients(Serves 4):
– 1 red onion
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 100ml white wine
– 600ml vegetable stock
– 200ml beetroot juice
– 1½ raw beetroots
– 200g pearled spelt (pearl barley also works equally well)

Optional:
– 100g Madeira
– 30g grated Parmesan (if vegetarian, substitute for a hard vegetarian cheese or if vegan, add some nutritional yeast flakes)
– 1 tsp fresh grated horseradish or 1–2 tsp horseradish cream
– handful of fresh fill

How to make it…

Finely chop the red onion. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a wide based pan, add the chopped onion and cook over a gentle heat until soft but not brown. Place the white wine into a small pan, add the stock, bring to the boil and keep warm over a low heat.

Peel the beetroot, cut into a very fine dice and set aside. Place the beetroot juice into a separate saucepan and reduce until ½ the volume. Set aside. Add the spelt to the soft onions and cook over a medium heat until the spelt is frying and starting to colour lightly. Add the cubed beetroot and Madeira to the spelt and cook until the liquid has reduced by ¾.

Pour in ½ the warmed stock and cook for 10 minutes. Continue adding stock one ladle at a time until the spelt is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed. Add the reduced beetroot juice and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Stir in the grated parmesan and horseradish. Garnish with chopped fresh dill.

Serve either on it’s own, with crumbled goats cheese or with grilled dill salmon.

Food styled by Emily Wright, recipe inspired by Heston Blumenthal and adapted by Leiths School of Food and Wine. www.thewrightfoodie.com