Beet and Onion Risotto with Goat Cheese

I found this recipe on epicurious when our CSA (Fresh Fork Market) gave us beets and mustard greens. I followed the recipe fairly closely the first time. The second time, I roasted the beets and left out the greens. This time, I went even farther afield, partly inspired by the recipe on the back of the chicken broth box for creamy risotto.

The final delicious results:
The final dish with goat cheese

The recipe on the back of the Emeril Chicken Broth box that inspired part of this dish: Recipe from the back of an Emeril Chicken Stock box

Ingredients:

  • Oil or butter (minimal amount)
  • 2-3 beets
    • 1 bunch beet greens – optional
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I use jasmine, but any white rice would probably work)
  • 1 package goat cheese (5-6 ounces)
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine (optional)

The original recipe calls for the beets to be cooked with the other ingredients; however, beets are very difficult to peel and cut if they are raw. Instead, I roast them in the oven, then peel and cut.

To roast the beets:

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees F
  • Cut off the greens and save, if desired
  • Wash the beets – you will be removing the skins later, so don’t worry too much about getting every bit of dirt off.
  • Wrap beets in foil, with a little bit of olive oil
  • Put the foil with the beets into an jelly roll pan or anything else oven-safe with sides – if any beet juice gets out, you don’t want it staining your oven.
  • Check for tenderness at 30 minutes for smaller beets, 45 minutes to an hour for larger beets.
    • Check by poking the beets with a knife – it should pierce the beet easily
  • Let the beets cool, then peel by pulling the skin off with your fingers – it should slip right off. Cut into bite-size pieces.
    • You may want to wear gloves while doing this step, as otherwise your hands will be stained red from the beet juice. Careful though, gloves can be slippery!

For the risotto:

  • Spray some oil (or use butter if preferred) on a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the cup of rice
  • Stir, cooking for a few minutes
    • According to risotto recipes I’ve found, this is supposed to ‘toast’ the rice.
  • (If using wine) Add the white wine, and stir till liquid is almost gone.
  • Add the chicken broth and stir.
    • According to a lot of recipes, you really should add this about a cup at a time and stir, waiting till the liquid is almost gone each time, but I don’t know if it really makes that much of a difference.
  • Cook until the rice is done, about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
    • Like the above comment, real risotto recipes say to stir constantly, but I think occasionally is fine

    The risotto, before adding the beets

  • When done, add the beets.

Once you mix the beets, your risotto will be a lovely pink:   The risotto after adding the beets

(I added the beets a little earlier than usual this time, as I didn’t fully roast them; hence the liquid still being there)

Serve with goat cheese and greens (if desired). Greens are optional, goat cheese is not, in my opinion!

The final dish with goat cheese

If you are trying to be a little fancier and don’t want to serve pink food, you could put the onion rice risotto in a bowl, then put the beets on top of that, and then the goat cheese (and maybe greens).

For the greens –

You can put them on raw, boil them, or saute them. Even cooked they are a little too bitter for my taste, but some people like them.

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