Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Beets Your Kids WILL Eat- Red Beet Risotto

I happened across this recipe in this month's (well April actually) issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. I was flipping through the pages at my son's baseball practice when I came to a photo of this beautiful red risotto. I read through the ingredients list and realized two things. First, that I had everything to make this recipe already at home. And second, it uses two items that I received in my CSA box last week.

So, this is South Beach Diet (phase 3) friendly if you use whole wheat orzo, like I did. If you want this to be gluten free, do NOT use the orzo, use the rice.

Please forgive me, I didn't take many photos. I was so stinking excited to make this that I just forgot. If I didn't want you to try it so badly, I'd remake it and retake photos. I'll be making it again next week.

I was going to blog on the loveliest beans that I cooked last week, but when I received beets in my CSA box again this week I felt compelled to post this, like NOW.

If you make the beet puree the night or day before (or even over the weekend) you can easily make this a 30 minute meal.

Also, please remember that beets stain, so please wear an apron!

Red Beet Risotto

Here's the ingredient line up...

Beet Puree:
2 red beets or three small red beets
1/2 medium onion
16 oz vegetable or chicken stock

5 cups veggie or chicken stock
1T olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cups carnaroli rice (I used whole wheat orzo, it's what I had)
1 bay leaf
7oz red wine (I used a very approachable Pinot Noir, J Lohr - Falcon's Perch)
4oz beet puree
2T unsalted butter
2oz creme fraiche (I heavy cream, it's what I had)
2T chopped dill
2T chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Goat cheese (optional)

To make the puree:
I roasted my beets first (see Meet The Beets blog post for instructions) because I had plenty of time and it makes the skins SO much easier to remove.
Boil red beets and onion in stock until soft (10 minutes if you roast the beets first). Transfer to food processor or blender and puree. Set aside. BTW, I did not use all that it made.

To make the risotto:
In a small pot, bring the stock to a simmer and then turn to low heat. In a large pot or high sided skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions until tender. Add rice, bay leaf and cook for 2-5 minutes (until rice starts to turn translucent).

Add wine, stir and reduce by 3/4. Then start adding stock, one ladle at a time, stirring frequently until risotto achieves desired texture. Once desired texture is reached, add beet puree and stir.

Then finish with butter and creme fraiche (or cream). Salt and pepper to taste. Plate your dinner and top with fresh grated parmesan, chives and dill. I also topped mine with a few crumbles of goat cheese, which was not in the original recipe.

This dinner was easy, beautiful and delicious. The suggested wine paring is a Pinot Blanc, but since I had already opened the Pinot Noir, I decided to drink that with dinner. It went fine since it was a very light bodied, smooth red.

Since making this Monday night (it's now Wednesday), my kids have asked for it no less than twice a day. Don't be surprised if your kids request the "red pasta."


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