Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beet Risotto

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

The farmer's markets are the place to find small beets with the attached beet greens this time of year--although I went out to my garden to harvest them. Small beets, those around 2" in diameter, are incredibly tender and sweet. This risotto dish turns a brilliant red color and is stunning on the plate. We had it tonight with fresh lake trout (the fish just appeared in our backyard--in a cooler--this week) and it was a tremendous meal.

Roast at 350 degrees F for 30-40 min. in aluminum foil:

8 2-inch beets (or whatever size you have!), with 1" of stem attached, saving remaining greens, beets unpeeled
4 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of thyme

Once the beets are out of the oven, cool, peel, and dice. Toss in a bowl with the roasted garlic (squeeze the soften garlic cloves out of the peel into the beets).

2 T olive oil
3 green onions, sliced
1 c arborio rice
3 c chicken stock

In olive oil, saute green onions. Add arborio rice, saute quickly until golden brown. In 1/2 c increments, add chicken stock, stirring, cooking over medium heat, for about 25 min until the rice is softened.

Beet greens, wash, cut into 1 x 3" strips
1 T olive oil
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t balsamic vinegar

Saute beet greens in olive oil, stirring constantly, until the greens are wilted.

To the cooked rice, now called risotto, add the diced beets, sauteed greens, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and grated parmesan cheese. Cover and let rest for 2-3 minutes to let cheese melt.

Serve this dish and I guarantee you that people who think they don't love beets will devour it!

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