Springtime recipes from Rosemary Shrager


Chefs love brown butter for its rich nutty flavour – the posh name is ‘beurre noisette’. It’s not hard to make but you do need to get it just right so you have the taste without burning the butter. Take your time and you’ll be fine. It really does add a nice touch to this risotto.



100g butter

50ml good-quality olive oil 2 banana shallots, peeled

finely chopped 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

200g Arborio rice 

100ml dry white wine 

1 litre vegetable stock

200g peas (fresh or frozen) 

75g Parmesan cheese, grated

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp finely sliced mint leaves

2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

100g feta, crumbled

handful of rocket leaves

flaked sea salt and black pepper 


  1. Place a heavy-based pan over a gentle heat and add the butter. Heat the butter until the milk solids (the white scum) separate and the butter starts to brown, then take the pan off the heat before the butter burns. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and set it aside.
  2. Add the olive oil, shallots and garlic to the pan. Cook them over a low heat for 5–6 minutes until softened. Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring to coat it in the oil. Pour in the wine and simmer, while stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated. Meanwhile, warm the stock in a separate pan and keep it at simmering point.
  3. Add the hot stock to the rice, one ladle at a time, reserving a ladleful to finish the risotto. Keep stirring and cook for about 25 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Stir the reserved stock into the risotto and add the peas. Cook for 2 minutes for fresh peas or 4 minutes for frozen. Add most of the brown butter and all the Parmesan and stir vigorously. This will help the risotto become creamy.
  5. Finish with the lemon juice, fresh herbs, feta cheese and most of the rocket. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with the remaining brown butter and serve at once, garnished with the rest of the rocket.



You can, of course, make these with ordinary flour and baking powder but I’m often asked for gluten-free recipes and this works well. Beetroot goes beautifully with chocolate and creates a lovely moist cake. By the way, if you want to cook your own beetroot, make sure it is really soft, so it makes a nice purée. 



300g cooked beetroot (vacuum-packed is fine) 

Butter, for greasing 150g gluten-free white 

Bread flour

45g cocoa powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt

250ml maple syrup

100ml whole milk

1 tsp vanilla bean paste


  1. Put the beetroot in a blender and blitz it to form a purée, then pass the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease a 28 x 18cm baking tin with butter and line it with non-stick baking paper. 
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well with a whisk – whisking will prevent any lumps forming in the flour. Add the beetroot purée, maple syrup, milk and vanilla bean paste and mix well with a spatula until combined. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes. Place the tin on a wire rack and leave the brownies to cool, then cut them into 12 squares. 

Rosemary Shrager will host recipe workshops at the Eat & Drink Festival from March 22ndto April 7th

Find out more at: https://www.eatanddrinklondon.com/

Extracted from Rosemary Shrager's Cookery Course by Rosemary Shrager (BBC Books, £20.00). Photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins