Pink food doesn't appeal to me. It looks unnatural. So when I made this risotto, and it turned out so very pink, I thought to myself, do I really have to eat this? But, I'm glad I put my pink issues aside and dug in. It was absolutely delicious. Creamy, a bit sweet, a bit cheesy, very comforting.
It all started when I had roasted beets left over. Since beets are a bit messy to deal with, I tend to roast as many as I can at a time, so I don't end up with pink hands every few days. There's really no better leftover vegetable. You can add roasted beets to salads, have them with goat cheese, layer them into sandwiches, mix into pasta sauces, or make a simple risotto dish, that looks fancy enough to appear in a magazine. I suggest all of the above. And if you are fortunate enough to be married to a gardening junkie, who brings you home beets from his various satellite gardens (he just started another one at a co-worker's house!), then you end up with young, tender beets that are delicious without any embellishments.
Although risotto takes time, your patience here will be rewarded. I highly recommend this dish.
Adapted from marthasteward.com
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, heated
2 medium roasted beets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1) In a heavy medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook shallots, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.
2) Add rice; stir to coat. Stir in wine; cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth; simmer, stirring, until almost all is absorbed. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes total. Sometimes more like 40.
3) Stir in beets, butter, and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.