Serve this nutrient-rich rice dish on its own or with a scoop of smooth ricotta,
some roast chicken or fish. Great made in a big batch and reheated over the next few days.
lactose free/ vegan — replace the butter with extra virgin olive oil, use vegetable stock
4 cups raw beetroot, peeled and grated (about 5 medium beetroot)
700 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups brown basmati rice
1 heaped tablespoon thyme leaves (or leaves of 5-7 stalks)
1 teaspoon salt
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
Cover the rice with tepid water and allow to soak for 15 minutes then drain through a fine strainer.
Put the stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to gentle simmer.
In a heavy based pot with a tight-fitting lid, warm the oil and butter over a medium heat.
Add the diced onion and stir for 3-4 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the garlic and thyme, stir for 1 minute.
Add the brown rice and stir well to coat the grains with the onion and oil mixture; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the grated beetroot and stir for 1 minute.
Add the hot stock, 1 teaspoon of salt and a really generous grinding of pepper and give it a really good stir, put the lid on and set a timer for 10 minutes.
Once the 10 minutes is up, turn the heat off but leave the lid on and set the timer for another 5 minutes so the rice can continue to steam.
Once cooked, taste for seasoning and adjust to taste — I like it with quite a bit of pepper.
Stir though the chopped parsley.
Serve with some smooth ricotta (if you want to keep it vegetarian) or serve as a side dish with some roasted chicken Maryland pieces or a piece of fish fillet baked with some thyme.