Just like you get sick of zucchini in September, I get sick of beets in October. I’m not quite there yet, but it’s early and I’m researching and scheming up new ways to show off the sweetness of this root veggie. I do adore roasted sliced beets sprinkled with a little goat cheese and thyme. I also love them crispy, heavily salted and peppered, served alongside a hearty protein or veggie burger.
I have never grated beets until this past weekend and, oh my goodness, I’m going to have a hard time going back to roasting thick wedges. I actually had a hard time cooking them because, frankly, they are just so darn pretty. Check out the photo of the freshly grated stuff below. It’s bright pink and gorgeous.
But cook them, I did. Last night, I sauteed the grated veggie with a splash of tart red wine vinegar and served a large pile next to a thick, juicy steak for some guests. Today, I made a creamy risotto from some Italian arborio rice, young farm shallots and piles of grated beets. It was a scrumptious dinner that appealed to the vegetarian in me and the rice-fanatic known as my husband.
(Before we get to the recipe, I’m going to ask ya’ll for a pardon as I learn how to use my new camera set up. I got some new equipment last week and will be experimenting for a little while.)
Beet & Shallot Risotto
- 2 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 cups beets, grated in a food processor
- 4 springs, oregano
- 1/2 cup, white wine
- 8 cups, vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup, grated grana padano
- Salt & pepper, to taste
Add olive oil to a large saute or paella pan over medium heat. Saute the shallots until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beets and oregano, sauteing until wilted, stirring here and there, about 10 minutes.
In the mean time, warm the vegetable broth in a separate pot, until simmering.
In the veggie pan, add the white wine and stir to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, letting the wine simmer for a couple minutes. Gradually, add the warmed vegetable broth to the pan, about a cup at a time. After each cup, let the rice soak up the liquid, stirring occasionally. (Most will say to stir continuously. I learned from an Italian chef that if you keep the heat low enough, the rice won’t burn and you don’t need to stir.) This entire process should take about 30 minutes.
Once the rice is al dente, cooked through but with a little bite, turn off the heat, pull out the oregano springs, and add the grana padano along with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve a generous spoonful or two in a deep bowl, with extra grated grana padano and a light swirl of olive oil.
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