Although this plate of risotto looks like it was lifted from the pages of a gothic horror novel, it would disappoint any self-respecting vampire — it's almost completely vegetarian. What's the secret ingredient?
Beet juice! A full cup of the deep red juice is what gives this spelt risotto its gruesome color. The recipe appears in the October issue of Saveur, from an article about chef Heston Blumenthal's trip to Transylvania in search of a Dracula-inspired dish. He attends a village pig slaughter, which provides the creepy setting he's looking for:
A toothless grandfather in a moth-eaten flatcap and slippers cackled uncontrollably while brandishing a large ax. Lungs and livers were strung out on a line like so much washing, and a pig's head bubbled merrily in a big pot.
But Dracula the vampire is not to be found in Transylvania — for Romanians dracul just means "the devil" — and this bloodless-yet-gory recipe is Blumenthal's souvenir. The article is a great read, funny and a bit scary, and we are intrigued (and a little repelled) by this dramatic-looking dish.
• Get the recipe: Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish
Would you make this risotto? Do you have a favorite creepy recipe for Halloween?
Related: Risotto Re-imagined: Great Alternatives to Arborio Rice
(Image: Saveur/Todd Coleman)