I roasted all the beets I had, all at once. I decided it was the only way to thin the over-wintered storage vegetables. Once they were roasted, they needed to be eaten within a week or so. Beet and apple salad, beets with smoked trout, beet and ginger chutney, pickled beets, hot beets with walnut oil and tarragon…. You name it, we ate it.
And then there was this very exciting beet risotto that I had remembered from a Martha Rose Shulman “Cooking for Health” column in The New York Times. It’s a very simple idea. Just make plain old risotto and, near the end of the cooking time, add diced roasted beets and chopped beet greens (which I would have done if beets were in season) or chard (which are in the beet family of plants). Garnished with fresh dill or tarragon, both of which are up in my pot garden, this was homey and delicious and even better the next day.
Beet Risotto adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times
2-3 medium roasted beets
Olive oil and/or butter (about 1 tbsp combined)
1 c Arborio rice
¼ c white wine
4-5 c chicken or vegetable stock
½ – 1 c sliced beets greens or Swiss chard
Optional: ¼ c grated Parmesan cheese (or to taste)
Optional: toasted walnuts, chopped
Snipped dill or tarragon
Prepare the beets. Roast or steam them if not already cooked. When cool, peel them and cut them into ¼-inch dice (or smaller).
Make the risotto. Warm the stock or broth. Warm the butter or oil in a saucepan. Add the rice and stir to coat, cooking until the surface of the grains turns white. Add the wine and stir to allow it to evaporate and also instill the ingredients with flavor. Add 1/3 cup of warm liquid, adjusting the heat to so that the liquid just simmers and stir until it is absorbed. When the liquid is absorbed, add another 1/3 cup, wait until it’s absorbed, stirring occasionally, and then repeat until the rice is tender but still al dente. This process will take about 20-25 minutes. About 5 minutes or so before the risotto is fully cooked, add the beets and greens and stir to combine well. When the risotto is cooked, add the grated cheese, if using, taste for salt and adjust as needed. Garnish with herbs and optional toasted walnuts.