Almost Turkish Recipes

Bulgur Risotto with Beet and Beer (Bira ve Pancarla Bulgurlu Risotto)

We've been obsessed with risotto lately. Once I got familiar with the ins and outs of making risotto, I felt like I gained the authority to explore with the "genre." I wanted to make an almost Turkish fall risotto. The recipe gets its Turkishness from bulgur, and its fallness from beet, beer, and walnuts.

I used Negra Modelo, a non-hoppy dark lager. I didn't want to bitter up the risotto with hops. Beets have somewhat sweet flavor that goes perfect with tarragon. This was one of the best risottos I've ever had and I'm not saying this because I made up this recipe.

1 1/2 cups coarse bulgur
1 cup Negro Modelo
4 cups of stock (I used vegetarian stock)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 spring onions, chopped
1 cup of grated beet root
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp tarragon
black pepper

-Bring the stock to a boil and then turn it down.
-Heat the olive oil in a pot and stir in onion, garlic, and green onions. Cook until onions are soft.
-Add bulgur. Stir for a minute or so until bulgur is coated with oil and vegetables.
-Slowly add beer and and wait until it totally evaporates.
-Add in grated beet, tarragon, black pepper, and salt--be careful with salt if you're using already salty kinds of cheese. Stir for a minute or two.
-Start adding the hot stock into the pot 1/2 cup at a time. Simmer each 1/2 cup stock until absorbed, stirring frequently.
-Add cheese, walnuts, and 1 tbsp butter. Mix well. Wait for 5 minutes and serve.

With the perfect harmony of tarragon and beet, "Bulgur Risotto with Beet and Beer" is for Weekend Herb Blogging that was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and is hosted this week by Truffle of What's on My Plate


  1. What an interesting dish! And I love the color. By the way, I made the peppers with cheese dish: it was great!

  2. Burcu, great pairing with beets and feta! Also, good choice in beer, it's a premmium Mexican dark beer...I like it alot.

  3. I love the idea of making bulgar with risotto. That's something I definitely want to try, since arborio rice is too starchy for my diet. Also never though of pairing beets with tarragon, but it sounds just brilliant. You are such a great intuitive cook! Great job on this recipe.

  4. It's only been in the past year or so that I've tried the risotto technique with bulgur and with barley. Both work really well. Now I'll have to try this recipe, because the color of the risotto is so beautiful!

  5. This is a great idea. I love it when you have the "vocabulary" of a dish down and can start playing with it. Beets and feta are such a great flavour combo, and I love anything with beer added. It can give such a nice rich flavour.

  6. I've never tried using bulgur for risotto -- and beets, I pretty much like anything with beets. Can't wait to try bulgur risotto, thanks!

  7. We make a beet risotto!!! I love it! We had it for the first time at an Italian restaurant in Toronto called Mistura. Yum!!!

  8. Hi,
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    I haven´t. I can´t find the owner(s) of the website. i have written to their host about the copyright infringements.

  9. It's wonderful you get creative and make up your own recipes. This is the first risotto recipe I have ever seen made with beer :)

  10. Anonymous7:23 PM

    This sounds delicious. What a good idea!

  11. Burcu, this was delicious! The choice of bulgur was inspired and the cheese and walnuts give it so much depth. Sadly I couldn't procure tarragon and had to make it with other herbs, but next time I'm going to track it down.

  12. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I'm so glad I found this recipe. I was planning to make beet risotto tonight, but I was in a rush to get home because I had to trade off the car so the next person using it could get to work. So, I didn't have time to go get wine, which I usually use for risotto.

    I stopped in a convenience store hoping that they might have wine, but of course, all they had was beer. I thought that the earthy flavors would work together, googled it when I got home, and found your blog. I now feel that I have permission to make up a beer beet recipe! Thanks so much!

  13. I'm making this today. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

  14. Anonymous11:09 AM

    I'm intrigued by this recipe. We have tons of rice in the house, but no bulgur. Can I substitute rice for bulgur and what amount should I use?