Bright Ruby-Red Color and Remarkable Creamy Texture!  – Red Wine and Beet Risotto

Bright Ruby-Red Color and Remarkable Creamy Texture! – Red Wine and Beet Risotto

Red Wine and Beet Risotto
Here’s a California twist to classic Italian Rice. This substitutes red beet puree and it’s cooking water for chicken stock. Put
that fabulous beet color to good use in this recipe! It tastes twice as
good with the rich earthy flavor of the beet. Of course, the delicious red wine
doesn’t hurt it either!! Serve it as a side dish or top it with a protein for a main dish. My tip: how to make the crispy green garnish, below…

Red Wine and Beet Risotto
Serves: 4-6
4 ½ C   Water
1          Small Red
Beet, about 2 ½ “in diameter, trimmed and chopped into equal sized dice
2 T       Extra
Virgin Olive Oil, divided
2 C       Arborio
½ C      Dry Red
2 T       Unsalted
1/3C    Parmesan
Reggiano Cheese, grated, + extra for garnish
½ t       Kosher Sea Salt
¼ t       Freshly
Ground Black Pepper
4-6       Beet
Greens, leaves with stem (optional)
In a medium saucepan, bring water and chopped beet to a
gentle boil, then season with salt and pepper and simmer until tender and soft.
The longer you cook it, the more red, and less purple it becomes. This can be
prepared in advance and held in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. In which
case, re-warm over medium heat.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, toast rice with one
tablespoon oil for about five minutes or until it starts to smell toasty. Remove
rice from pot and set aside. In the same pot, add the additional oil. When
warm, cook onion over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for about five
minutes. From this point allow about 20 minutes for the rice to cook. Add a cup
of the heated beet juice, and the red wine, stirring constantly. Every few
minutes add another half cup of beet juice as it becomes absorbed, almost to
the point of being nearly dry, then stirring in another as needed. When there
is only one half cup of the beet juice left, pour it with the beet chunks into
a blender and process until very smooth. Pour this puree into the rice and cook
until the rice is “al dente”. (Just taste a few pieces and see if they are tender enough to eat, like pasta) Remove from the cook top and stir in butter and
Parmesan cheese. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve when melted and
combined. Garnish with extra cheese if desired.
COOK’s NOTE: The beet leaf green garnish show in the
photo was deep fried in about ½ inch of oil in a small lidded pot. Each
completely dry leaf is fried, without crowding, for about 20 seconds on each
side. Remove to a surface of paper towels to absorb extra oil and cool. This
makes the leaf transparent and stiff. Trim off the extra stem length before
using. I leave it on when cooking because it makes it easier to handle!

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