By Veggie Tom
I’ve tasted Beetroot Spelt Risotto by Heston Blumenthal for Waitrose… should you put one in the trolley or leave it on the shelf?The blurb reads: “Spelt grains cooked in white wine, beetroot concentrate & Madeira with pickled beetroot and a horseradish butter pat.”
Ingredients: Water, spelt, beetroot concentrate, beetroot (7%), white wine, unsalted butter (milk), Italian style hard cheese (milk), horseradish, Madeira wine, white wine vinegar, barley malt vinegar, pectin, rapeseed oil, salt, carrot concentrate, onion concentrate, aniseed extract, leek concentrate, star anise.
OK: Risotto never stands up very well to ready-meal treatment. When you part-cook risotto rice for a frozen or microwave product, you generally kill its key allure – texture. So does Heston’s pricey risotto (currently selling for £4.99) deserve to be called a premium product?
The tasting note: If rice withers like a weakling when exposed to a microwave, spelt stands its ground. It’s got a moreish, nutty, just-one-more-bite quality that a four minute micro-blitz simply can’t defeat. The chunky beetroot holds its own, too, and the slightly sweet, earthy flavour works as well as you’d hope. A chunk of horseradish butter, removed before heating then stirred through at the end, is a smart touch, lending extra richness and a flavour dimension that absolutely sings alongside the beetroot.
Can you eat it? Suitable for vegetarians and people avoiding egg, nuts and soya. But it does contain milk and gluten.
Should you put it in the trolley? It’s a premium product but it earns its price. Moreish, deeply flavoured and with a great texture – Heston’s pulled it off. Tasted by Veggie Tom.
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Heston from Waitrose Beetroot Spelt Risotto
It’s a premium product but it earns its price. Moreish, deeply flavoured and with a great texture – Heston’s pulled it off. Tasted by Veggie Tom.
Not forgetting barcode: 5000169162507
Waitrose Summer Petits Pois & Courgette Quiche
Die hard quiche lovers may like this more than me – but the box promised sweetness and the filling was bland and too lemony. Nice pastry, though. Tasted by Veggie Tom.
Not forgetting barcode: 5000169194126
Waitrose Black Bean Chimichangas
Unusual party snacks but they’re a touch dry so they’ll need a dip. There’s a tasty cheesy-beany mix inside, but not quite enough, and the aftertaste is a little bitter. Tasted by Veggie Tom.