Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beet Risotto

Here's my love letter to the beet for this week...
Beet Risotto
Now, how is that for a big plate of pink & green & cheerful?

I've been thinking about making this risotto for the last two weeks but, I had used all my beets up to make gelato so I had to wait until I picked up another bunch at the farmers market. The idea of a pink risotto was what attracted me at first but the flavor was the true winner here. Both Matt & I were thrilled with the results. I think he's really starting to embrace the whole love of beets thing with me...let's see he now like mushrooms & beets, now how to I get him to change his mind about eggplant?!

For a risotto this is actually pretty light with no added cream & very little cheese. Beet is the main taste in this risotto, of course, but the parmesan really mellows it out. I think the little bit of sugar added to the beets helps too. I love the color contrast that the beet greens add to finished dish as well as the added nutrition you get from those dark greens. This was a really satisfying main dish but it would also make a stunning side dish.

Beet Risotto

1 T olive oil
1/2 c diced beets, about 1/4" dice
1 garlic scape, sliced (or one clove garlic, minced)
10 beet leaves & stems, chopped & separated
pinch of sugar
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 spring onion, white & green parts chopped (or one scallion, chopped)
1/2 c + 2 T arborio rice
2 T sherry
3 T grated Parmesan + extra for serving
salt & pepper

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beets, garlic scape & about one half the beet stems (save the remaining stems for another use). Sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Set aside.

Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Keep the broth simmering the whole time you are cooking.

In another saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil & the butter over medium heat. Add the onion & sauté for a minute. Add the rice & cook while stirring for another minute, coating the rice. Add the sherry & cook while stirring until evaporated. Add the stock 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time. Cook & stir each addition until evaporated before adding the next. Test the rice from time to time to see if its getting tender. When it's tender & creamy with just a slight bite it is ready (you may not use all the broth). As you are adding your last addition of the broth also stir in the beet mixture & the chopped beet leaves. Once that final broth addition is absorbed stir in the Parmesan until melted. Season with salt & pepper as needed (we found it needed a generous amount of pepper).

Serve sprinkled with extra Parmesan if desired.

2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Ohhh I love beet risotto. I'm new to the whole beet-eating thing, but this was one of the first things I made when I finally did discover them. I had been inspired by Massimo Capra's recipe, given to me by a friend. mmm mm!

Recipe for Delicious said...

I'm amazed by your creativity with beets! I hope there's more!

Lori said...

Ha! Your love letter to the beet. That's great. Beautiful color!

Justin said...

i'm not really a big fan of beets, but i had to comment because that color is pretty wild.

Lo said...

Oh, how I love beets! They're so gorgeous, and the fact that they taste so good is an added bonus.

Will have to try using sherry the next time we make beet risotto. Bet the flavor complements the beets nicely!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I like the resulting shade of the rice. It's beautiful!

grace said...

this makes me think of christmas, which just amps up the good-feeling factor. gorgeous, delicious dish, kat!

Lori said...

So pretty. Love beets!

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t = teaspoon
c = cup
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