Weekday Vegetarian: Beet Root Risotto

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

My daughter wanted risotto for dinner last night, but not the mushroom risotto I usually end up making.

I found a recipe for a beet risotto which seemed like the perfect thing. We love beets, we love risotto -- what could go wrong? Well, nothing, really, except somewhere in the cooking the beets went AWOL.

I was fascinated that by the time the rice was cooked there were no flecks of beet, absolutely none. It was as though the beets had just melted away, leaving only their colour. The recipe called for one grated beet, but I would try this again and use two or three, just to get more of that wonderful earthy beet flavour I had been expecting.

This was supposed to be served over a bed of watercress with some goat cheese on top, but I had just enough watercress culled from a wilted bit at the back of my fridge to make a tiny amount of a garnish, and I had no goat cheese at all, so I just used Parmesan. I'm definitely going to try this recipe again and up the beet factor.

This recipe is from Risotto Risotti by Judith Barrett.

Beet Root Risotto

1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 medium-size beet, peeled, top discarded, and grated (to yield about 1 cup)
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

    1.Heat the butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, sitrring, until the onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to brown it. Stir in the rice to coat the grains with the fat and onion mixture, and cook about 1 minute longer.
    2.Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it is mostly absorbed by the rice. Add the beets, begin to add the broth, 1/2 up at a time, stirring well after each addition. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Reserve 1/4 cup to add at the end.
    3. When the rice is tender, but firm, in about 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup broth and the Parmesan and stir well until the cheese is combined with the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tags: Weekday Vegetarian

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