Ingredients 3 cups vegetable stock or water2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil4 shallots , finely dicedSea salt or vegetable salt1 medium-size beetroot , finely diced1 ear corn , kernels only1 1/2 cups arborio rice1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest3/4 cup medium-dry white wine1 Tbsp. umeboshi vinegar1 handful fresh basil leavesFreshly ground black pepper , to tasteShaved Parmesan , to serve (optional)
Pour the vegetable stock or water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Leave simmering on a very low heat.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
Sauté the shallots with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or vegetable salt for 1 minute.
Add the beetroot and corn and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the arborio rice and lemon zest, and sauté until the rice grains are completely coated with the oil and juices from the vegetables.
Using a ladle, slowly start to add the hot stock or water to the rice mixture, one ladle at a time, stirring well after each addition.
After the third ladle, add the wine and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed.
Continue to add the stock or water, stirring until it is thoroughly incorporated.
Add the umeboshi vinegar and mix well.
Pile the risotto onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with torn basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with grated fresh Parmesan with a side of steamed fresh asparagus. Variations:
- Try different vegetable combinations, such as beetroot, carrot and red bell pepper, or onion with red, yellow and green bell pepper.
- Instead of using umeboshi vinegar, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. In this case, use a little more salt—you can add the salt to the vegetable stock or water.
- Add some sautéed mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake or flat field (portobello) mushrooms, at the end.