Saturday, February 20, 2010

Roasted Beet Risotto

We planted six beets this year and the birds ate all but one of the plants.  So, having hoped to get half a dozen beets, we ended up with one.  We looked at it a few times and debated if it was ready to pull out of the ground.  We certainly didn't want to pull it out too soon, especially if it was our only chance at a fresh beet.  Today, it looked just right.  About half of it was poking up from the top of the soil and the leafy bit was fairly big.  It turned out to be perfect timing.  Now...what to do with this beet, hmm.  We knew we couldn't go wrong with roasting it and putting it over some greens.  But, I wanted to do something a little more interesting.  I had bookmarked this recipe awhile back and thought it looked interesting.  Having never made it before though, I hoped we wouldn't waste our only beet if it didn't turn out so great.  And, I have to say, I am not generally a huge fan of risotto.  It always seems like a lot of effort for a lackluster meal.  Andrew feels the same way, so this really was a leap of faith.  Well, I am now converted.  This risotto was so good.  The contrast of the tangy onions and the sweet beets all topped off with a little sour cream and dill.  What could be better?  It's comfort food at its ultimate best.   

Adapted slightly from, called Creamy Beetroot Risotto.  See the web site if you want the British measurements!
Serves 2 (easily doubled)

1 medium fresh beetroot
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp of butter
1/2 an onion , finely chopped
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
250g risotto rice
1/4 Cup of white wine
2 Cups hot vegetable stock
handful grated parmesan
4 Tbsp sour cream
handful chopped fresh dill

1.Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and trim the beets and cut into large wedges. Place on a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, season, then cook for 45 minutes - 1 hr until the beets are soft.

2.Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil with the butter in an ovenproof pan with a lid. Tip in the onion and garlic, then cook for 3-5 mins until translucent. Stir in the rice until well coated with the butter and oil. Pour over the white wine, then let the mixture bubble away for 5 mins.

3.Stir well, then pour over the stock. Stir again, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 15 mins until the rice is soft. Remove the beets from the oven. Whizz ¼ of them to make a purée, then chop the remainder into small pieces. Stir most of the Parmesan, the beet purée and chopped beet through the risotto, then serve with some sour cream dolloped over and the dill and extra Parmesan scattered on top.

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