Saturday, September 19, 2009
Full-On Beet Risotto with Toasted Pecans
You know the ones -- the deeply colored purples, reds, pinks, and golds. Candy cane, bull's blood, Chioggas, and goldens. Not only are the roots flawless and plump -- but the greens are crisp and well formed.
I don't know about you, but I insist upon buying beets with the greens still attached. Not only are they lovely (and tasty -- similar to the flavor of Swiss Chard) -- but they really pack a nutritional punch. They're rich in chlorophyll and can actually possess a higher overall nutritional value than the beet root itself.
On this particular day, the red beets were calling my name. The wind was feeling a bit cool, and I was craving some serious comfort food. Beet risotto anyone?
Whenever I make beet risotto, I always go back to the same recipe -- brilliant beet risotto, which was inspired by an article from Food & Wine magazine a number of years ago). Like many great recipes, it's really more about technique than ingredients, and you can make all sorts of modifications to the ingredients of the recipe to suit your own tastes.
The first step is to chop the beets finely in your food processor. You'll do the same to the beet greens as well.
You saute onion and garlic, toast your arborio rice, and then add the raw beets and greens to the risotto pot. Add your stock, stir, and repeat. By the time your rice is al dente it's also deliciously pink. The beets are cooked and the kitchen smells great.
At this point, you can add your favorite cheese and any number of delicious add-ins.
In our case, we opted for a bit of Wisconsin parmesan and a dab of local buttermilk bleu cheese. I also stirred in some toasted pecans -- which added great flavor, a bit of protein, and a little bit of toothiness.
We've also tried other awesome combinations: cheddar cheese with a spoonful of horseradish, sour cream with chopped fresh dill weed, goat cheese and toasted walnuts... the possibilities are endless.
Brilliant Beet Risotto
©BURP! Where Food Happens