Monday, June 27, 2011

Beet Risotto

Okay, may sound strange, but this is just delicious!  My kids were very hesitant to try it, but they all ate it heartily, even my picky eater.   My 6 year old tried it and said, "Yum, I am saving that for last!  That is good!"  It is a beautiful color.  Would be great for Valentine's Day.  I am not a rice eater and not necessarily a beet lover, but the beets in this are delicious! Subtle and nutty in flavor.  This is my first real risotto.  I was afraid it would be hard, but it was super easy.  You do have to stand around and mix, but it is easy.  This is a keeper and will be made again and again.

adapted from Rachael Ray

  • bunch of beets (mine had 3 beets)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 quart (box) of chicken STOCK
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup wine  (red or white)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 TBSP heavy cream
  • fresh parsley

Wash beets.  Preheat oven to 375.  Cut off stem and bottom.  Reserve tops and slice for a garnish for finished risotto.  Place in a bit of foil and drizzle with EVOO and some salt and pepper.  Bake for 1-1/4 hr until tender.  When cooked, reserve juices that come out and peel beets and place in food processor or blender with juices and a bit of the 2 cups of water if needed.  Puree and set aside.

Place stock and water in a saucepan and get hot, then turn down to low.
In a  skillet, place about a TBSP of olive oil and 1 TBSP butter and saute onion on med high heat.  Cook for about 3 minutes until beginning to be translucent and add garlic.  Let cook another minute and add rice.  Add a bit more oil if needed (if pan is dry) and cook the rice for 3-5 minutes, until beginning to get browned and crackle.  Add the wine (I eyeballed it, may have done a bit more than 1/2 cup.  Never hurt anyone!) and cook until wine disappears. Reduce heat to medium. Add a few ladles of broth and simmer, stirring continuously.  When you scrap the bottom and it remains "dry" or  the liquid no longer rushes in, it is time to add a few more ladles.  I did this about 6-8 times, cooking for 3-5 minutes each time or until more liquid was needed.

Near the end, add the beet puree and the last of the broth.  Cook until still creamy.  Stir in cream and parmesan cheese.  Taste and season accordingly.  If still not done, cover and let sit for a few minutes.  Meant to be served al dente. Garnish with the beet greens and some fresh parsley, if desired.

*I have heard it is insanely good with a few dollops of soft goat cheese.

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