90g (3 ½ oz) italian hard cheese – finely shredded to tangled threads
1 tbsp finely minced parsley – optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Big dollops of Greek yoghurt – optional
Peel and chop the beetroot into small chunks.
Peel and chop the onion and then add it to the butter melted in a large saucepan.
Fry the onion until transparent and add the beetroot.
Stir rhythmically for about 10 minutes to coat in the butter and to soften slightly.
Then add the rice and garlic and, still stirring, fry for several minutes on a heat gentle enough not to colour the rice but simply to turn it translucent and readier to absorb the stock and pink juices of the beetroot.
Now add a ladleful of the hot stock and stir steadily until it is all absorbed and you are ready to add the next ladleful.
Continue in this way for about 20 minutes until you have used up all the stock and the rice is tender, creamy and almost fuchsia pink.
The beetroot should be soft, though perhaps with just a hint of bite to it.
Add the vodka and lemon juice in the last few moments, season with salt and pepper and add about half of the italian hard cheese.
Stir it a couple of times the let the risotto sit still for a few minutes, protectively lidded. Hold back a little stock or boi8ling water for this stage just to loosen it slightly before serving.
Serve with the rest of the italian hard cheese, the parsley and if you wish the Greek yoghurt too.