Roasted Beet Risotto

12 Mar

Zak and I love beets.  I love their slightly sweet, super earthy flavor and jewel-like colors.  They are also packed with awesome nutritional content such as folate, manganese, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin C, omega-3 fats, and potassium with very few calories, cholesterol (none), or fat.  We also love risotto – the creamy, rich rice is such wholesome, delicious comfort food.

My awful pictures don’t do this beautiful dish justice.  The risotto is dyed a really striking and beautiful red color due to the beets.  The beets themselves stand out like little gems of sweet, earthy yumminess.  Beets pair extremely well with goat cheese and with Parmesan, so a little dose of each adds an incredibly rich, creamy mouth feel as well as a great interplay of textures.  This recipe makes four large main course servings, so if you’re like us and are cooking for two, stay tuned for a way to use up the leftovers.

Roasted Beet Risotto

3-4 medium beets, scrubbed clean

4 tbs. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

5 cups lamb stock

1 cup arborio rice

1 tbs. butter

1 tbs. goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan-Romano, grated

Preheat oven to 400º.

Trim off both ends of beets.  Place on a sheet of tinfoil and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Fold up edges of tinfoil and crimp to create a packet.

Place in oven and roast forty minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.  The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your beets.

Carefully open tinfoil packets to avoid steam.  Let cool.  Reserve any oil that has pooled in the bottom of the tinfoil packets.

Peel off skins and cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ cubes.

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining olive oil to pan to heat as well as any olive oil reserved from roasting the beets.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add rice and cook for 2-4 minutes until very slightly golden brown.  Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.  Stir in another cup of broth.  Cook 5-7 minutes until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring almost constantly.  Reserving at least 1/4 cup broth, add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly.  Wait until each portion of broth is nearly absorbed before adding next batch.  This process will take at least 30-45 minutes.

Stir in remaining broth, cheeses, and butter.  Taste for seasonings.  Add in the beets.  Cook 2-3 minutes until thoroughly heated and rice turns red.  Serve immediately.

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