We've wanted to make this for some time and now that beets are in season, we could. It was also a great way to use up the kale that came in our veggie box from Capay Farms. The recipe calls for the red beets but we used golden ones. I was really looking forward to a jewel colored risotto especially posting a picture on the blog but in the end I was glad that the store did not have red beets because they stain terribly. This delicious recipe comes from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
As much as I love risotto, if you work, it's definitely a weekend recipe because of the time involved to chop up the veggies and cook every thing. Even with a food processor to take care of the chopping, etc. it probably took over an hour. I was so glad to have a food processor on hand -- it grated the beets and finely chopped the kale in seconds. Crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy while cooking, it makes the time pass more pleasantly if you're cooking alone.
Makes 4 Servings
-5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups stock
-3 T butter or mixture of butter and olive oil
-1/2 cup finely diced onion
-1 1/2 c Arborio rice
-1/2 c dry white wine
-2 T chopped parsley
-2 T chopped basil or 1 T dried
-2 to 3 medium beets, peeled and grated, about 2 c
-2 to 3 cups greens -- beet, chard, kale, or spinach -- stems removed, finely chopped
-salt and fresh milled pepper
-Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
-1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan
Simmer the stock on the stove. Heat the butter in a wide pot, add the onion, and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice, stir to coat it well, and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer until it's absorbed, then stir in half the parsley, the basil, grated beets, and the chard or kale. Add 2 cups stock, cover, and cook at a lively simmer until the stock is absorbed. Begin adding the remaining stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. When you have 1 cup left of stock, add the beet greens or spinach. Taste for salt, season with pepper, then stir in the lemon zest and juice to taste. Serve dusted with the cheese and remaining parsley.
I didn't have parsley so I left it out. The lemon, I think, is an important ingredient in this recipe. It tempers the root-y taste of beets and adds freshness.