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Beetroot "Quinotto"

“Quinotto” is a name that came to my mind when I thought of making a risotto…with quinoa instead of rice. I thought I was super smart, but then I googled it and found out that others have used it before lol.

In any case, this colorful dish is a cute idea for a meal to prepare for a romantic lunch or simply to treat yourself, making something healthy and pretty yet super tasty.

If you do not like the sweet and savory dishes, don’t even attempt to try it. But if you do, as I do, you will love it! Beetroots are naturally sweet and roasting them makes them even sweeter.

The recipe is very simple. The only inconvenience is the waiting time for the beets but remember: once you place them in the oven you can forget about it for 40 minutes and just set the alarm, while you can carry on with your things to do…so give it a try and make your mum happy!



  • 3 beetroots

  • ½ cup of quinoa

  • ½ onion

  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

  • ½ cup of white wine

  • ⅓ cup of grated Parmigiano or any hard cheese you prefer

  • Dried herbs such as thyme or chives

  • Pepper and Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375* (200 C).

  2. Remove the leaves of the beetroots and peel the skin off. Now slice them into wedges (see the picture below).

  3. Place the quarters on a tray, sprinkle some salt and pepper and drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Toss well and place the tray in the oven for about 40 minutes. Halfway the cooking time, about 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and stir the beetroots to cook them evenly.

  4. Now you can start to prepare the quinoa. First of all, rinse it well in a fine-mesh strainer.

  5. Finely chop the onion and place it on a thick bottomed pan. Add 1 and ½ tbsp of olive oil, turn the heat to medium, and let the onion “sweat”. When it starts to look translucent, add the rinsed quinoa and “toast” it for about 1 minute, constantly stirring as it can easily get stuck to the pan.

  6. At this point add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate.

  7. Now add 1 cup of warm water and stir well.

  8. Season with dried herbs, salt, pepper, and let the water be absorbed by the quinoa. Once it is absorbed add one more cup. Repeat this operation one more time, constantly stirring. Basically, in the end, you will have added 3 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa.

  9. While the quinoa cooks - it should take about 15 minutes - go back to your beetroots. They should be cooked by now! Take the tray from the oven and carefully place the beetroot wedges in a blender. Add 1/3 cup of water and blend them. You can make this beetroot puree as smooth as you like. I left mine “chunky” to have a “bite” in the Quinotto.

  10. When the last cup of the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, add the beetroot puree and mix well.

  11. Now add the grated cheese and mix well. Remember if at any point of the quinoa preparation, it starts to stick to the pan, add a couple of tbsp of water and keep stirring.

  12. Serve on a plate (I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to shape the portions), sprinkle some fresh herbs and some extra grated cheese.

Buon Appetito!


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