Beetroot horseradish risotto – a fun recipe that pairs well with spicy beetroot (beet) savoury macarons as a starter/appetiser. I created this recipe to accompany the beetroot and horseradish savoury mini macarons from my first book, Mad About Macarons.

beet risotto with macaron and glass red wine

When do you Eat Savoury Macarons?

The other day I was walking on the sweet side in Paris with a lovely group of Americans as part of my chocolate and pastry tour in Saint Germain des Prés and, as you can imagine, I tend to become particularly passionate when somebody asks about macarons.

One question was: “Do you like savoury macarons – and when would you eat them?”

Well, I love them served as an apéritif with drinks and even served with a starter – especially if they have a wee kick to them.

Let me explain.

Beet and horseradish or wasabi macaron

Savoury Macarons – Great with Risotto

By adding some heated spice to the filling, the intriguing sweetness of the macaron shell puts out the fire.  Have you tried these beetroot (or beet) and horseradish macarons? (The recipe is in Mad About Macarons). They’re great with bubbles such as a Kir Royal cocktail or red wine as an apéritif, the French art of pre-dinner drinks.

However, they also go so well with risotto recipes (such as the creamy chorizo risotto with seared scallops), ideal as a starter.

Moreover, it’s a wonderful talking point at the table: once friends thought I was serving a steak tartare – as an ex-vegetarian, I was just as surprised as they were!

Normally you’d expect the beetroot to give the risotto or macarons an earthy taste but the result is instead ever so delicately sweet.  Try this chocolate beetroot cake – it’s not unlike the philosophy behind carrot cake (even this purple carrot cake!) or chocolate and zucchini/courgette cakes, where the vegetable just acts as a fun and extra squidgy ingredient.  But here, in a gluten-free macaron, it’s a colourful change!

See the French market produce pages for more on beetroot or beets.

beetroot and chocolate macarons in my book, Mad About Macarons!

Beetroot Horseradish Risotto with Savoury Macarons

This light risotto blushes with the beetroot, taking on the most vibrant natural red colour.  The added touch of creamy horseradish just gives it that je ne sais quoi. It’s healthy, cheap to make, and ideal to serve at any time of year – and great fun for the holiday season.

Serve in small pasta bowls, decorate with fresh herbs and more parmesan shavings and a mini beetroot and horseradish macaron (recipe on page 103 of Mad About Macarons!)

Beetroot horseradish risotto with red wine and a savoury macaron

Looking for more ideas? See my recipe ideas to serve with savoury macarons.

beet risotto with macaron and glass red wine
4.80 from 5 votes

Beetroot and Horseradish Risotto

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
If using raw beetroots, add40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course : Main Course, Starter, Appetizer
Cuisine : Italian, French
Keyword : beetroot, horseradish, beet, risotto, macarons,
Servings : 4 people (as a starter)


A light risotto with beets and with a subtle kick of horseradish as a quirky twist to a classic Italian risotto - and served with mini savoury beetroot and horseradish macarons from my book, Mad About Macarons!


  • 400 g (14oz) pre-cooked beetroot / beet or 2 small raw beetroots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 250 g (9oz) risotto rice carnaroli
  • 150 g (5.5oz) or glass white wine
  • 800 g (1.75 pints) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 60 g (2oz) freshly grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps crème fraîche
  • 2 tsps horseradish sauce


  • Wearing rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands, peel and grate the beetroot. (If using raw beetroot, rub on coarse sea salt and wrap them up in aluminium foil and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes and leave to cool.)
  • Fry the onion in the olive oil and butter over a medium heat until softened (do not brown) for about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and stir until softened for another couple of minutes.  Add the rice and stir until the grains are all coated and shiny.
  • Add the wine until it has disappeared into the rice.  Gradually add the hot stock, a ladle at a time and stir continuously until each time the stock has soaked in.  Cook for 15-17 minutes.  After about 10 minutes, stir in the grated beetroot.
  • When the rice is cooked, stir in the crème fraîche, parmesan and horseradish and take off the heat.  Add salt (fleur de sel) and pepper to taste.


Serve in small pasta bowls, decorate with fresh herbs, more parmesan shavings and a mini beetroot and horseradish macaron (recipe on page 103 of Mad About Macarons!)
Pair with a fruity red wine with a hint of spice such as a Médoc, Pinot Noir from Alsace, Côte-du-Rhône - or a chilled rosé from Provence.

From the market

From the kitchen

8 responses to “Beetroot Horseradish Risotto – with Macarons”

  1. 4 stars
    Well I’m glad you told us to wear rubber gloves! Saved a lot of mess. We had some cooked beet left over and wondered what to do with it – this recipe intrigued and delivered! (I added two mini Philadelphia low fat pots, a bit os sherry and 2tsp of Demerara sugar). The result was the striking colour and delectable flavour. Fantastic, great recipe!!

    • So happy to hear you loved the recipe, Rick, even if you changed it a bit (sounds like you were making a cheesecake!). Please do try it without the add-ons next time, as the beets give a natural sweetness already.

  2. Jill, this dish and its related macaron is stunning! I love the natural color from the beet and the flavor it must impart intrigues. Lovely, lovely work.

  3. 5 stars
    I love risottos but never tried it with beetroot. Must give this a go – and with a horseradish macaron, there’s nothing like that to beet! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Your mini macaron is SO gorgeous! And what an amazing garnish for your beet risotto! This dish would be the highlight of any dinner party 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Liz. It certainly is a talking point and guarantees some surprised (happy) faces!

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