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August 25, 2008 / katelynb

Red Beet Risotto


My grandma and grandpa have a prolific garden and they are always generous with their bounty, especially to me, their favorite vegetarian.  This year I have had some excellent sweet corn, green beans, peas, tomatoes and carrots.  I was a bit hesitant to accept beets this time but I couldn’t refuse. For a while, they sat in my fridge and I feared they would go unused until Tony and I found this great recipe for Red Beet Risotto.

Red Beet Risotto, adapted from an Epicurious recipe

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 medium beets (about 1 lb), diced

1/4 cup butter

1 cup Arborio rice

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop onion and trim stems close to tops of beets. Cut greens into 1/4-inch-wide slices and chop stems. Peel beets and cut into fine dice. In a small saucepan bring water to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook onion in butter over moderate heat until softened. Add beets and stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup simmering water and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking at a strong simmer and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. After 10 minutes, stir in greens and continue cooking and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 8 minutes more. (There may be water left over.) Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan.

We found this recipe to be a visually stunning dish with deep reds and violets swirling about the pot.  The flavors were equally intense.  The rice was perfectly chewy with just the right amount of bite.  The beets added a little bit of texture and a whole lot of sophisticated sweetness.  The Parmesan cheese rounded out the dish with its nutty, salty flavor.  This dish was great as a vegetarian entree but would be fabulous alongside a nice piece of beef as well.

One Comment

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  1. palmariello / Sep 1 2008 1:53 am

    Very good condiment for fusilli!

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