Roasted Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese and Pecorino

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

This is as easy to make as any risotto.  Risotto?  Easy?  Yes.  It is.  I don’t know why it has a reputation for being laborious.  Kind of like root canals.  People dread them like THEY cause the pain.  I had a friend recently tell me that she had rented a bunch of movies to watch over the weekend as she recuperated from an upcoming root canal.  You get a root canal BECAUSE you are in pain.  Terrible, inescapable pain – or you would never agree to a procedure that terrifies you & is, quite frankly, very expensive.  A root canal is a procedure that removes the nerve so that you will never again have pain in that tooth.  In fact, they get at that thing pretty early in the procedure so within 5 minutes of them starting – it is impossible to feel pain there anymore.  I told my friend this – to her great relief.  And, she reported back, I had been right.  I know – because botched dentistry in my past has led to my having had two of them.

Anyway, I digress.  Risotto is not the arm-ache provoking process people always bemoan.  It just takes about 30 minutes of care with some occasional stirring.  Who can’t manage that?  Especially if a creamy, delicious risotto is your reward.  And, as far as I am concerned, you can’t really screw it up.  Sure – some can be overcooked or clumpy or too wet but that is just a texture concern & I am not a texture freak.  It all tastes the same.  So give yourself a break & a treat & make some Goddamn risotto.

Oh – and at the risk of offering TMI – lots of roasted beets in your diet will turn your pee (etc) reddish – so – do not be alarmed & fear that you are hemorrhaging.  You are not.  🙂

Also – if you have some extra beet around – or roast some extra – you can use a cookie cutter & create little decorative beet toppers to put atop the risotto & impress your neighbors.  Or not.  But I think it is a cute idea.

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Roasted Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese and Pecorino

INGREDIENTS

2 large (large!) beets or 5 or 6 smaller ones

10 cloves garlic

1 small onion – diced

olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 bay leaf

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 cup Arborio rice

3/4 cup dry red wine plus 1/4 cup water

4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock

Goat cheese and/or Pecorino cheese as garnish

S&P to taste

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Image

DIRECTIONS

Wash the beets & wrap them with 6 cloves of garlic in some foil & roast at 425 for between 30-45 minutes – depending on their size.  A knife should cut through them easily when they are done.  Let them cool & then peel them.  The skins might just wipe off with a paper towel.  If not – use a peeler.  Put the beets, roasted garlic into a food processor with 1 TBS olive oil & about 1/4 cup water.  Pulse until you have a rough puree.

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Heat your stock & leave it simmering.   Add the balsamic to this stock.

Mince the remaining raw garlic.  In a stock pot, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat & add the diced onion & minced garlic.  Saute until the onion is soft.  Add more olive oil if the pan gets too dry.

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Add the bay leaf & the rice & stir for about a minute or two.  Get the rice coated in oil from the pan.

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Add the red wine & water (One cup total.  You can use white wine or just plain water here if you don’t want to waste good drinking wine – but the wine adds a nice flavor.)  Simmer a few minutes.  Reserving at least half a cup of hot stock – add the stock to the rice by about a cup at a time & stir it in & allow each cup to nearly cook off before adding the next.  About 15 minutes into this process – add the beet puree.  Stir to blend.  Add the cheese and S&P to taste.     Remove the bay leaf.   The rice should be cooked before you get through all the stock but if you use all the stock & the risotto gets too thick – just add some water & heat it through to thin it.

Put some risotto on each plate & top with crumbled goat cheese and/or shaved Pecorino & a nice dose of freshly ground pepper.

Oh!  And again, all my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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