Beets are your friend

My first garden beets

I know there are many out there who don’t like beets. Not me. I loved them when I was a kid and still love them.
I decided to plant some in my garden this year. OMG, they are amazing. I am going to double my plantings of these jeweled beauties next year. I planted the “Early Wonder” variety.

They are not a huge beet when mature: only 2-3 inches. But, what they lack in size they make up for in flavor.
Not only are they gorgeous, but you can pretty much eat the whole plant. Which I did last night in this beet and beet green risotto.
I LOVE risotto and during my stint at Andre’s in Vegas, I mastered the art of making risotto. I am not ashamed to brag. I make and AWESOME risotto.
This is a dish that absolutely cannot be rushed. Believe me, patience here pays off.

Beet and Beet Green Risotto with Horseradish

NOTE: This is a unique risotto that has a sweet, subtle beet taste and a gorgeous red jewel tone. I personally think the horseradish is a bit overpowering but my husband, not a beet fan, said it was just what he needed. Serve the horseradish on the side and try for yourself.

This pairs nicely with a French Chablis, a California chardonnay, an American Riesling, or an American gewürztraminer.

1 small onion
1 pound red beets with greens (about 3 medium)
1 cup dry white wine, like a chardonnay
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Arborio or long-grain rice
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1½ ounces)
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish

Finely chop onion and trim stems close to tops of beets. Cut greens into ¼-inch-wide slices and chop stems into a small dice. Peel beets and cut into fine dice. In a small saucepan bring stock to a simmer and then place of low.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook onion in butter and olive oil over moderate heat until softened. Add beets and stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, stirring constantly until absorbed.

Stir in 1 cup simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking at a strong simmer and adding stock, about ¾ of a cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. After 10 minutes, stir in greens and continue cooking and adding stock, about ¾ of a cup at a time, in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente.

Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve risotto topped with horseradish.

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