Monday, September 22, 2014

Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto

I think I've mentioned before that I am on a cooking message board.  Each day those of us who have blogs post links and pictures to that day's blog posts.  Back in February 2012 Jill from JBeanCuisine posted a picture of her roasted beet risotto with goat cheese that was just gorgeous.  I bookmarked the page because of the picture but having never eaten beets it wasn't on the top of my list of things to make.

Then I joined a CSA this year and in our box we started getting beets.  My mind immediately went to that beautiful picture and I knew what I would do with the beets.  Plus. risotto has always been one of those recipes that I know is time consuming and hard to make but I still wanted to try at some point.

The first time beets were in the box they were golden beets, so they didn't give us that nice pinkish color, but were still super tasty.  Since then we have gotten red beets so I had to go back and make the risotto again!

The risotto is actually pretty easy to make, but it does require your attention.  I like to pour myself a glass of wine, pull a stool up to the stove and sip away as I stir in the broth.

One note when using red beets - the color will stain!  I use prep gloves (the same kind I use when touching raw meats) when handling them plus I use foil under them on the cutting board so I don't end up with a bright pink board.  I also rinse the knife immediately after use so it doesn't stain.

Roasted Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese (from JBeanCuisine)

4 medium beets, trimmed (leaving 1 inch of stems attached)
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock + 1tbsp for roasting beets
3 cups water
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for roasting beets
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese (plus more for garnish)

- preheat oven to 425'
- toss the beets with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp stock and a dash of salt & pepper.  Tightly wrap beets in double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender (about 1 - 1.5 hours depending on the size of the beets).  You will now they are ready when you can insert a knife through the middle without any resistance.
- Place the cooked beets aside (with the foil opened to allow steam to escape) to cool for about 20 minutes
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2 in cubes.
- When you are ready to make the risotto, bring the broth and water to a rolling simmer in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat and keep at a low simmer
- Preheat a wife (4-6 qt) pot over medium/medium-high heat.  Add in the olive oil and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  About 3 minutes.
- Add rice to the onions and oil and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes
- Add the wine to the pan, simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute
- Add in 1/2 cup broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.  Continue simmering and adding broth (about 1/2 cup at a time), stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until the rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes (reserve leftover broth).
- Stir in diced beets, salt, and pepper (mixture will turn bright pink) and cook, stirring, until heated through.
- thin to your liking with some of the leftover broth, then stir in cheese and remove from heat.
- serve, garnishing with additional goat cheese if desired

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