6 small beets, trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.
3. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. The skins should come off fairly easily.
4. While beets are cooling, bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Keep at simmer, covered. (The quick and easy method that I use here is to put the broth in a microwave-safe measuring cup and nuke it for 5 minutes. It’s then easy to nuke it a few more times during the cooking process as needed to keep it warm.)
5. Cook onion in oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
6. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 to 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be fully absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes. “Constantly” means every few minutes, you do not actually have to stir the rice every moment of these 18 to 22 minutes.
7. Stir in beets, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Depending on the variety of beets you have, the risotto might turn pink or red or purple. Serve and enjoy.
This recipe is inspired by one at epicurious.com. The beets I had were a variety that is variegated red and pink, they don’t bleed as much as normal beets so my risotto didn’t get a lot of colour from the addition of the beets. This was a very enjoyable dish, Art and I both had seconds of the risotto. The beets added a sort of earthy and sweet flavor that complimented the rest of the risotto very nicely. For my first experience with beets, I’d say this was pretty successful! Next time, if I have them, I might add a few more beets.
Shown here with Marinated Eye Round Steak.