Golden beet risotto
Sometimes I have food cravings and nothing but a risotto would do. It has been on my mind for a while now but with so much fresh stuff in my fridge I just did not get around to making it. Finally it had to happen today. I had a couple of golden beets I picked up the other day and I thought they would be good in the risotto. Cut in small cubes and cooked with the rice they lend sweetness to the savoury dish and complement the texture of the al dente rice. The golden colour is beautiful and subtle, not so bold as when using red beets.
My favourite rice for risotto is carnaroli although arborio would be fine as well. I cook the beets and onion first and then add the rice and finish the cooking together. Before adding the rice though I scoop out a few of the cooked beets and keep them for garnish. A little bit of creme fraiche, butter and cheese go in towards the end of the cooking, it wouldn’t be a risotto without these ingredients.
Once the risotto is cooked cover the pot and let it sit and rest for 5 minutes to catch its breath before plating.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion
2 beets, peeled and cut in small cubes
1 cup carnaroli (or arborio) rice
1/4 cup white wine
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Micro greens for garnish
Salt and pepper
Place stock in a small pot on the back burner and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
Heat butter and oil in a large pot (I use le Creuset enamelled cast iron).
Add onion and cook until softened.
Add beets and cook on gentle heat for a few minutes until they are softened.
Remove about 1/3 of the beets to use as garnish.
Add rice to the pot and cook, stirring, to coat it with the butter and oil, about 3-4 minutes.
While you are stirring add the lemon zest and lemon juice.
Add the wine, raise the heat a little and cook until evaporated.
Now begin to add the stock to the rice, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly. When the rice absorbs the liquid add another 1/4 cup and continue this way until the rice is almost cooked completely but still retain texture. You have to be near the stove stirring the whole time, you cannot leave it alone.
Throughout the cooking taste and add salt and pepper at various stages. How much salt depends on how salty your broth is.
Towards the end add the remaining butter and creme fraiche, then the grated cheese.
Cover and let the risotto rest for 5 minutes.
Remove lid and add the parsley, stirring it in with a wooden spoon.
To serve spoon the risotto into bowl, garnish with reserved beets and micro greens and if you wish, also the parmesan crisp (spread grated parmesan on a parchment lined baking sheet in any shape you’d like and cook at 375F until golden. I used a ring mold to plate the risotto but spooning it into the bowl is just as good.