There's something really glamorous about risotto that I just can't quite grasp. Maybe it's the fact that it's so labour intensive to make. Maybe it's that it just tastes so decadent.
Well, whatever the reason, I decided I wanted to try and make a beet risotto as I had some leftover in the fridge I wanted to use up. I recently visited the St. Lawrence Farmer's Market where I had bought some farm-fresh veggies:
I thought that by roasting the beets, the sweetness that resulted would meld really well will the savoury saltiness of parmesan cheese... mmmm...
To roast the beets, I sliced them up (approx. 1/2 inch) and placed them on a baking tray with some olive oil and roasted them in a 400F oven.
About 15 minutes later, I flipped the beets over so they would cook evenly on both sides. About another 15 minutes later, I took them out of the oven and let them cool.
Then I used a fun cookie cutter and cut some of the beets into flower shapes for decoration. I finely diced up the rest of the beets to add to the risotto.
When you add the chopped beets to the risotto, it will turn the most fabulous shocking magenta colour!
The resulting dish looked gorgeous and was soooo delicious.
Roasted Beet Risotto (makes 6 servings)
10 Small beets, roasted (approx. 1.5 cups small dice)
1 small Onion, finely diced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
4-5 sprigs of Thyme
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup Red wine (I used Chianti since that's what I had lying around)
7 cups low-sodium Chicken stock (or you could use half regular stock, half water)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper (for seasoning)
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Peel beets and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, making sure beets are coated on both sides. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
2. After 15 minutes, flip beets over and let roast for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool to the touch, chop beets into small dice (brunoise), or you can cut them into fun shapes. Set aside.
3. Place a large saucepan/pot to medium heat and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent.
4. Add garlic and thyme sprigs and saute until fragrant. (As a note, I don't bother pulling the leaves off the thyme as by the end up this, all the leaves will fall off the stems anyway).
5. Add the arborio rice and stir until all the grains are coated.
6. Add the red wine and stir until wine is absorbed into the rice. The rice will turn a very unattractive cloudy grey-ish colour... but not to worry! This is only temporary :)
7. Add chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time and consistently stir until rice has absorbed each batch of liquid. Towards the 7th cup of liquid, the rice will start to get a little creamy as it releases its starches. Depending on how you like your risotto (al dente), you can add a little bit less liquid. Just have a taste and see what tickles your fancy.
8. When all liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat, and IMPORTANT: pull out all thyme stems!!! Nobody wants to eat a stem.
9. Add grated parmesan cheese and diced beets and stir through until thoroughly combined.
9. Season as you wish with salt and pepper, and serve!