I have this habit of becoming borderline obsessed with something and then trying to incorporate it into everything. Be it a type of food or a cooking technique or a serving style – I enjoy exploring all aspects with something before pushing it to the back burner. With my recent beet discovery lots of food has been turning pink around here, as I try to figure out which ways of cooking beets are acceptable and which ways are just not for me. One of my favorite ways to experiment with a new food is to use it in preparations that I’m familiar with: pasta, omelettes, pizzas, and grain dishes. While I’m not quite brave enough to try beet pizza this week I decided to give beet risotto a whirl, figuring beets are the perfect local ingredient for two blog challenges I’m participating in. The first one is for the weekly challenge sponsored by /52weeksofcooking while the other is the awesome monthly challenge Simple and in Season which is hosted by the incredible Ren. Beets are just starting to come into season here in the DC area, and I’ve been snatching them up for my experiments. By time I had my beet realization it was too late for this growing season but I’m planning to add some to next year’s garden – along with the carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant that are currently growing.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk (I used almond but dairy or soy would work)
1 cup arborio rice
5 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup beets, shredded with "juice"
Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and fresh herbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the herbs from burning. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, make sure to coat the rice in the oil.
- Meanwhile heat the vegetable stock in a small saucepan over medium heat (for best results try to match the temperature of the stock to the rice mixture)
- Add the white wine and milk and continue to stir. Once liquid has been absorbed begin to add the vegetable stock, 1/2 cup at a time, always letting it absorb before adding more and continuing to stir. After adding around 3 cups add the beets then taste the rice for consistency, and continue to test every 1/2 cup until reaching the desired texture.
- Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with freshly ground pepper and/or Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
I have to admit one of my favorite parts of this dish might be watching the dish go from a basic cream to a vibrant magenta. However my favorite damask apron is not appreciating this new addition to the kitchen so I might have to start looking for a more beet tolerant apron. Anyone have any suggestions?!?!