I love a good risotto in Winter. Heck, I love risotto any time of the year. So when fellow Naturopath and gut health afficiando Allison Jones (nice name hey?) shared with me this delicious recipe for a gut friendly (dairy free, gluten free, vegan and potentially low fodmap) risotto made from nutritious buckwheat and beetroot, I just had to nab it to share with you. Tip: Wear gloves when handling the beetroot so you don’t end up with red stained hands!
Want more recipes from Allison? You can visit her page here.
A while back now, I decided to improve my plant-based cooking repertoire. Even though I like to keep my kitchen non-denominational, I like to dabble in different dietary scenes. But, as a lifelong omnivore I was guilty of being very lazy when it comes to making meals from plant foods. All that changed a few years back when I decided to improve my diet and also found a love for recipe development. In the last year I set myself a challenge to improve my plant-based cooking repertoire.
This recipe for Buckwheat Risotto put to good use all of the principles of recipe development that I’d learnt – the need to balance different flavours with a range of complementary textures to keep the palate surprised and content. I’ve now been making this recipe for almost two years, so I’ve had plenty of time to get it just right.
Buckwheat has become a featured ingredient in many of my recipes. I love using it since it’s gluten free (don’t be fooled by its name), with a unique flavour and texture, depending on how it’s cooked. It feels very nourishing and satisfying to eat. It’s also highly nutritious, with a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds such as rutin and quercetin.
In this recipe, I’ve paired buckwheat with other earthy ingredients: roasted beetroot, porcini mushrooms, thyme and hazelnut. If you’re not familiar with porcini mushrooms, they’re a veritable umami powerhouse – delivering plenty of that unique savoury flavour provided by the natural glutamate content.
And, because I always look after you, dear reader, I’ve provided both a pressure cooker/Instant Pot option and a stove top option. Everyone wins!
This risotto is perfect in the depths of winter, but also in the transitional seasons. You will certainly not regret making this.
Buckwheat risotto with porcini, thyme, hazelnut and roast beetroot
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, options for Low FODMAP
Pressure cooker/Instant Pot and stove top options (stockpot required)
Equipment: pressure cooker or stockpot, large glass heatproof bowl, baking trays, frypan (if browning the mushrooms), large measuring cup, kitchen knife, chopping board, tongs
- 1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats
- 15g dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 cups water, divided (pressure cooker option) OR 6 cups of water, divided (stovetop option)
- 1 bunch of thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten free miso paste
- 1 1/4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the beetroot and mushrooms
- 250g white button mushrooms, sliced in half or in thick slices (if browning on the stove) (use oyster mushrooms or canned champignon mushrooms for a low fodmap option)
- 2 large beetroot
- 100g hazelnuts
- Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F fan forced
- Boil 2 cups of the water and pour over the porcini mushrooms in a large glass heat proof bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Peel and chop the beetroot in to large bite sized pieces, then spray/coat with oil and place into separate oven trays.
- Place the beetroot and hazelnuts in the oven. Remove the hazelnuts after 5-7 minutes (keep an eye on them to avoid burning). Roast the beetroot for 30 minutes total until a knife goes through each piece.
- Once the porcini has soaked for 20 minutes, remove them from the liquid and set aside. Transfer the porcini liquid in to a large measuring cup and add any extra water needed to make 3 cups.
Pressure cooker/Instant Pot option
- Reserve smaller stalks of the thyme and place the rest in the pressure cooker, with the leaves still attached to the stems.
- Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker (including the porcini liquid and soaked porcini mushrooms) except the beetroot and hazelnut. Place the sliced button mushrooms last, to sit on top of everything else. Alternatively, these can be browned on the stove in olive oil.
- Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. At the 5 minute point, release remaining pressure.
- Reduce the liquid in the risotto by selecting “saute” or “brown” on the pressure cooker. This will take between 5-8 minutes and requires occasional stirring.
- Once the risotto is at the desired texture, remove the thyme stems with tongs, being careful to get all of them out – you’ll need to stir a few times and look carefully to remove them all.
- Once ready to serve, plate up the dish and then place roasted beetroot, hazelnuts and mushrooms (if browned on the stove) on top of the risotto along with the leaves from the reserved thyme.
- Add all ingredients to the stockpot (including the porcini liquid and soaked porcini mushrooms) except the beetroot and hazelnut. Add the remaining 3 cups water.
- If mushrooms are being browned on the stove, do not add them to the stockpot.
- Reserve smaller stalks of the thyme and place the rest in the stockpot, with the leaves still attached to the stems.
- Bring to a boil, then remove the lid and cook on high heat, stirring every few minutes. The risotto will be done in approximately 30 minutes or until soft, but slightly chewy.
- The sliced mushrooms can be browned in some olive oil in a separate fry pan while the risotto is cooking.
- Remove the thyme stems with tongs, being careful to get all of them out – you’ll need to stir a few times and look carefully to remove them all.
- Once ready to serve, plate up the dish and then place roasted beetroot, hazelnuts and mushrooms (if browned on the stove) on top of the risotto along with the leaves from the reserved thyme stems.
Allison Jones is a Clinical Nutritionist and Naturopath in southern Sydney. She specialises in digestive health, with an interest in the gut microbiome. Allison is also a a passionate (and obsessive!) recipe developer, creating original recipes that are both nutrient dense and delicious. Find her at bodyelectricvitality.com.au