Couscous, Bulgur, Quinoa & Co., Vegetarian
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Roasted Beet Risotto

Roasted Beet Risotto with dill and crème fraîche

I have a little obsession with beets at the moment. And this little obsession led me to the uncharted world of beet risotto. Something I wish I had explored earlier. This beet risotto is hands down the most decadent of all my risottos. With its vivid color and deep flavors, it’s somewhat of a show-off. Not to mention nourishing and incredibly beautiful!

I adore roasted beets. Roasting them softens their earthy flavor, brings out their wonderful sweetness, and transforms their texture into something smooth and velvety – making them perfect companion in the risotto realm.

If you are planning to roast beets, then make extra. The great thing is, that once roasted, they will keep refrigerated for up to a week. This way you will already have them on hand for whatever you’re planning to make. Once the beets have cooled, the skins slip off easily when rubbed with a paper towel. It’s that easy!

Though, plan ahead, as roasting beets can take up to 1 1/2 hours. But as I mentioned this can be done in advance. I roasted the beets while we were enjoying our Sunday brunch, which made preparing risotto in the evening a lot less demanding.

Market Fresh Beets

So now that you have stocked up…do you ever wonder what to do with an abundance of roasted beets in the fridge? Well because they are so sweet, they pair well with tart and sharp-tasting foods. Try tossing sliced beets with things like shallots, red onions, orange slices, fresh squeezed lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or feta cheese. Herbs are also a great addition. I love adding fresh thyme or parsley. Simple and good.

Did you know that beets have an exceptional nutritional value? Especially the greens, so don’t toss them. They are wonderfully rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. Select beets with crisp, fresh looking greens with smaller roots; they are tenderer and can be cooked just like spinach – steamed or sautéed! Making them a great side dish!

Click to enlarge:

Roasted Beet Risotto

Toast rice briefly in butter and olive oil to help develop the flavor

beet risotto

Adding liquid in bunches helps the rice cook more evenly

Roasted Beet Risotto

A creamy and vividly colored risotto

Roasted Beet Risotto with dill

Roasted beet risotto with dill

Roasted Beet Risotto

Serves 4

3 medium beets (preferably all the same size), greens trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio risotto rice (300 g)
1 cup dry red wine (250 ml)
3 cups vegetable broth (750 ml), heated
Juice of 1/2 lime
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving
4 tablespoons (or more) finely chopped fresh dill

Extra toppings (optional):
a dollop of Greek yogurt, crumbled blue cheese or a small handful of baby arugula leaves

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C.

2. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Set aside to cool. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skin off with paper towels, and trim and discard the stem and root ends. Grate the beets and set aside.

3. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer.

4. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic to the pan, followed by the rice. Stir to combine. Saute for a minute and then add the wine; simmer until reduced. Once it’s almost absorbed, add about a cup of hot broth.

5. Once absorbed, add another cup of broth and keep stirring. Repeat this step until you have used all the broth and the rice is just about cooked – this takes about 20 minutes. Add the shredded beets and stir to combine. Allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring, until creamy. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

6. Add the parmesan and stir in the butter. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes.

7. Spoon the risotto into serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parmesan and fresh dill. Enjoy!


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