Ruby red, meltingly tender, and just a little earthy. That would be this beet risotto that I made for dinner on Tuesday night for J, my mom, and my kid brother. J and I both agreed it could have used a little something extra – J suggested chicken, but personally, I think goat cheese would have been fantastic. Tangy, and complementarily earthy. Boy, I am just all about the adverbs today…
If you are lucky enough to have access to beets by the bunch with their greens attached, you won’t have to buy any separate leafy greens to put into your dish. Otherwise, the ingredient list is relatively short, mostly ingredients common to every risotto: broth, Arborio rice, wine, and Parmesan cheese.
Beet Risotto (serves 4-5)
Recipe adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison – I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who wants to eat vegetarian, but especially for those who want to learn all about vegetables. A huge section of this cookbook deals with all kinds of vegetables – how to buy them, how to prepare them, and several recipes for each type.
- 5-6 c. vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 2-3 medium beets, peeled and grated (I used 6 baby red beets and 2 baby golden beets)
- 2-3 c. greens, finely chopped (beet, chard, kale, spinach, etc. – I used 2 bunches baby beet greens and 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed)
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan (or more to taste)
- 2 oz. soft goat cheese (or more to taste; trust me!)
- Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan and keep covered, and simmering.
- Heat the butter or olive oil in a wide saute pan. Add the onion, and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add wine, and simmer until it’s absorbed. Stir in grated beets and chard or kale. Add 2 c. stock, cover, and simmer until stock is absorbed.
- Add the stock in 1/2-cup increments, stirring constantly until each addition has been absorbed, before adding the next. Check regularly for texture of the rice. When you have one or two additions of stock remaining (rice should be just slightly chewy), add beet greens or spinach along with the next addition of stock.
- When rice is cooked to desired consistency, soft (or slightly chewy) and creamy, taste for seasoning (salt and pepper), then add lemon zest and juice, as well as Parmesan cheese. Check seasoning again, and serve with additional Parmesan.
- For an extra kick, top each serving with some crumbled goat cheese.