keito potato


Beet Risotto
December 11, 2009, 8:44 pm
Filed under: main dishes, recipes | Tags: , , , ,

This is my favorite risotto. It’s deeply, vividly fuschia, like eating melted jewels or bougainvillea blood. Besides being visually stunning, it’s one of the tastiest risottos I know of. The rich sweetness of the beets is tempered by the brightness of lemon juice and zest.

Please don’t be tempted to buy the shrink-wrapped beets that are pre-cooked and peeled. Because those are already cooked, they would contribute far less flavor to your risotto. This recipe calls for peeling raw beets, and grating them raw into the risotto. Your hands will turn fuschia whilst grating, so this would be a good opportunity to wear a favorite cute apron.

This risotto gets some leafy greens stirred in toward the end. If you bought your beets with the beet greens still attached, use them here. If the beets are sold without the greens, then choose another favorite green like chard or kale.

This risotto is inspired from a Deborah Madison recipe. I have strayed from Deborah in adding toasted walnuts, and have altered some of her language.

BEET RISOTTO RECIPE
6 Cups vegetable broth
3/4 Cup walnuts
3 tablespoons butter, or a mixture of butter and olive oil
1/2 Cup finely diced onion
1 1/2 Cups Arborio rice
1/2 dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
3 medium beets, peeled and grated, about 2 Cups
3 Cups beet greens, or another green like kale or chard
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan

METHOD:
Toast the walnuts at 350F while you are working on the rest of the recipe. When their toasty fragrance becomes apparent, let them roast in the oven a little while longer to get darker and more flavorful. Chop them fine with a big knife.

Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Mince the onion. Peel and grate the beets. Chop the greens. Chop the parsley and basil.

Heat the butter in a wide heavy pot like a Le Creuset. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat it well, and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until it’s absorbed. Stir in half of the parsley, the basil, and the grated beets. If using chard or kale, add them now because they are sturdier than beet greens and need to cook longer.

Add 2 cups of the broth, cover, and cook at a lively simmer until the broth is absorbed, just a few minutes. Remove the lid, and begin adding the remaining broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed before adding the next ladle-ful. Before adding the last 1 cup of broth, add the beet greens, if using.

Taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in the lemon zest and juice to taste. Stir in the toasted walnuts. Serve dusted with the Parmesan and remaining parsley.

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