Red beet risotto

I am a big fan of risotto. It’s so incredibly versatile; you can put any manner of meat or vegetable in it, and it’s delicious. However, it can often look rather visually underwhelming, a sea of light beige grains punctuated by the odd light beige piece of chicken. So when I came across this visually striking recipe for red beet risotto, I had to try it. Anyone who knows me knows of my love of hot pink (I not too long ago had hair of a similar colour), so it’s not surprising I’d be drawn to it.

Recipe

adapted from Bite Me
Serves 8

1¼ lbs beets, trimmed, rinsed and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place whole, peeled beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and tightly wrap beets into a foil packet. Place packet on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut beets into ¼” cubes and set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally until softened but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir rice into onions, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour in white wine, stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.

Reduce heat low and stir in chicken broth. Leave to cook, covered, for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until broth is almost completely absorbed. The risotto is ready when the rice is mostly tender but with a hint of texture to it.

Stir in the roasted beets, Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Blend well and remove from heat, letting it stand 3-4 minutes before serving.

Musings

I haven’t much experience working with beets, so I definitely could have roasted them a touch longer. They were a touch firmer than ideal. Otherwise, this made for an immensely pretty dish–hot pink risotto really is fantastic. The flavour itself is fairly light, as the beets aren’t overpowering, so this would make a good side dish to complement roast beef or breaded chicken.

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