Post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more details.
When fall and winter come around, I make risotto almost once a week. It takes a bit longer to make but pour yourself a glass of wine and stir away. Spelt isn’t one of the first grains I would normally pick for a hearty risotto but once you give it a few cracks in a blender, you’ve got the perfect base for a creamy risotto. Once you get comfortable making this recipe, you could really swap the cheese, herbs, and toppings to suit whatever you might be craving (or whatever’s in the fridge)! This spelt risotto is hearty and perfect for the cool weather.
A fall or winter treat, this spelt risotto is made extra creamy by cracking the whole grains in a blender then melting in goat cheese at the end.
- 1 pound beets
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup whole spelt
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 small onion minced, roughly 6 ounces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- sprinkle of parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wash and trim beets. Cut into quarters, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer beets onto a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss beets until well coated with oil. Roast beets in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until fork tender.
- While beets are roasting, pour spelt into a high speed blender. Pulse 3 times in 2 second intervals to crack the spelt. You should see spelt flour gathering on the outside of the blender. Most of the grains should be broken, but it should not be too floury.
- In a small pot, combine vegetable broth and water. Bring to a low simmer. Next, heat a medium sized thick bottomed pan on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, followed by the onions. Let onions cook until translucent and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and let cook 1 minute more.
- Pour cracked spelt into the pan and stir well to coat with oil. Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low and add 1 cup of the broth mixture. Stir well and let grains absorb liquid. Continue adding broth mixture 1/4 cup at a time and stirring until spelt is tender, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- As you add the last of the broth mixture, stir in minced herbs. When the liquid is almost completely absorbed, mix in goat cheese until well incorporated. Add roasted beets on top of risotto. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.
Tips & Tricks: If you do not have a high speed blender, use a food processor to crack the spelt. You may need to pulse a bit more, but make sure that the resulting texture is still mostly chunky and not too smooth.
Leaving the skins on the beets makes for a less messy experience. Plus, extra fiber! But feel free to peel your beets before you cut and roast them.
Nutrition: See the information.
As mentioned above, the spelt risotto base is perfect for swapping cheese, herbs, and produce. Roasting the beets brings out their natural sweetness. But the variations of this risotto are really endless.
Cheese: Change up the cheese! Try it with gruyere or havarti. Or go vegan with cashew cheese to keep the creaminess.
Grains: Cook times will vary, so look for final consistency. Try this risotto with kamut, farro or barley.
Greens: Stir in tender greens such as spinach when the risotto is almost finished. Heartier greens, such as kale or collards, would also be delicious. Slice thin ribbons and stir into the risotto about halfway through cooking.
As much as I love spelt flour, whole spelt is used less often in my kitchen. But it’s a fantastic grain! Its warm, subtle flavor is a perfect compliment to many flavors, especially hearty fall vegetables. Spelt doesn’t come pearled like some of the other grains, so just pick up the whole spelt berries from Bob’s Red Mill.