I’m not sure how, but shockingly I made it through 29 years of my life without ever tasting a beet. The day that I had one was a revelation to my taste buds. There is not a week that goes by now when my fridge is not full of these wonderful, healthy treats. There are so many delicious ways of cooking beets, though this combination of the dark red, flavourful beet with another of my favourite foods – risotto – is a unique and mouth-watering side dish. It also calls for cooking with white wine, which is always a great excuse to indulge a little in a glass while cooking.
Serves 4 (as a side dish)
Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (and 1 glass for drinking)
2 cups beet juice (I just pureed approximately 1 can of non-preserved beets)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Grated parmesan cheese
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1. In a large saucepan or large frying pan, heat the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the butter over medium heat.
2. Cook the onions and celery for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add Arborio rice and continue stirring for another minute and a half.
4. Add wine and stir for 2 minutes.
5. Pour in half the beet juice or beet puree and reduce for several minutes.
6. Slowly add one ladle at a time of stock and stir until it evaporates. Repeat until risotto is al dente (about 20 minutes). Stir frequently.
7. Use the remainder of the beet juice to finish off the process. Remove from heat and add remaining butter.
8. Serve and sprinkle with grated cheese and freshly squeezed lemon.