In the spirit of Valentine's Day what is more suitable than a beautiful red risotto, jam packed with bright flavor and cheese! I simply adore this risotto it's one of the first things Justin learned to make at his previous job and a frequent late night request of mine as he was leaving the restaurant.
Let us talk beets! I grew up eating them pickled as that is a typical dish to have in Cypriot Cuisine. Don't get me wrong it is a delicious way to have them but there is also something so wonderful about a roasted beet in all its sweetness with a sprinkle of salt, mm I am salivating just thinking about it. Justin on the other hand is not a beet fan whats so ever. In fact it is perhaps the one ingredient he doesn't eat, however, he still loves this risotto.
It is not overly beet in flavor, it just has a beautiful sweetness and earthiness to it that is perfectly complemented by the tangy goat cheese and toasted buttery pine nuts. For such a delectable dish it is truly quite easy to make. Just some pointers for Risotto, it is a labor of love you want to make sure that you're adding in the liquid slowly in batches and not all at once. You also want to make sure that between additions you don't let the rice dry out or absorb all the liquid because it can start to burn. A truly perfect risotto will still be al dente and when spooned onto a plate it won't hold its shape but instead spread out, you want it to have some liquidity or sauce to it!
Lastly, any rice will do for risotto! Many people think risotto is a type of rice but [yipee fun fact of the day!] it is a cooking method for adding liquid in slowly! Arborio rice is the most commonly used, however, any rice you have at home should do just fine. The only difference is some rices are more starchy then others. For example, sushi rice is typically more starchy than arborio. One way to combat this is to simply whisk the raw rice in cold water and drain it to get rid of some of the starch!
Happy Valentines Day to all you lovely people out there and please enjoy the recipe below!
· 1-2 small yellow beets, cubed
· ½tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. olive oil – separated
· 1 tsp dried thyme
· 1 cup beetroot juice
· 1 ½ cup chicken stock
· ½onion, finely chopped
· 1 tbsp. butter
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 1 cup rice (Arborio is preferred)
· ½ cup white wine
· 2 tbsp. cream
· 3 oz. goat cheese
· ¼cup toasted pine nuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. After cutting the beets into about 1 inch cubes, toss them with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper
3. Roast in oven for 35-40 min on a well-oiled pan (aluminum foil is highly recommended here) stirring twice during the cook time to make sure they roast evenly
4. Meanwhile, add stock and beetroot juice to a small sauce pan and bring it up to a boil, once it has boiled set to the side
5. Heat oil in a pot over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and cook, stirring often until translucent.
6. Add butter, garlic, salt and pepper to the pot and cook until butter is melted, stirring while doing so
7. Once butter has melted increase to high heat and add in rice stirring to coat the rice in the mixture
8. Toast for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently, you’ll be able to smell the rice toasting which is a sign of perfection!
9. Add the white wine and let the rice cook until the wine has almost evaporated, stirring occasionally
10. Once wine has been absorbed add 1 cup of the stock/beet juice mixture, stir to combine and allow rice to absorb the liquid. Stir frequently
11. Continue this process adding 1/3 cup of the stock/beet juice mixture at a time until rice is al dente. Make sure to check for salt content here, as the liquid reduces the risotto will become saltier so don’t overdo it. Add salt and pepper slowly throughout the process and if you’re not sure if it needs more hold off until the next step. Remember you can always add more salt but you can’t take it away!
12. Remove the risotto from the heat and finish with cream, and salt and pepper if needed.
13. Serve topped with roasted yellow beets, goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts