Leela of She Simmers and Mel of Bouchon for Two are hosting a very cool food fight. This month is is the battle of the beets. Entries are due November 6 with winners being announced on November 9th. I love beets so this was a no brainer for me. I decided to to a Roasted Beet and Ginger Risotto with Fontina. Yum!
You have to love the color! I deep fried some of the whole beet leaves to garnish with. They get glossy, bright green, and have a wonderful, delicate crunch.
You know I am going to say it so let’s get it out of the way. Start with fresh, organic ingredients! Local or homegrown is best…Do not try this with canned beets.
Wash the beets and the peel them. Do not, I repeat do not skip this step or try to get it done faster by boiling the beets even for a minute.
Do not remove the skins by dipping in boiling water for a few minutes. You want the beets to roast from a completely raw state. It takes a little more time but peel them instead. Leave about 2 inches of stem on when you trim them to keep them from bleeding out.
Roasted Beet and Fontina Risotto
- 2 pounds beets with greens, beets peeled, halved and and trimmed, leaving about 1 inch of stems attached and reserving greens
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbs balsamic
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Arborio* or long-grain rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated fontina
- Olive oil for multiple use
- Preheat oven to 400F..
- Wash the beets and trim. Reserve the greens.
- Peel beets and cut in half. Lay cut side down in a baking dish and drizzle with oil.
- Bake uncovered at 400F until done. This will vary according to the size of the beets, but about 45 minutes is a good bet.
- Chop the beets coarsely and set aside.
- Chop the onion, ginger and garlic.
- Heat the butter in a pan and saute the onion, ginger and garlic until soft.
- Meanwhile bring stock,wine, and balsamic to a simmer. Hold at the simmer.
- Add 2 tbs olive oil and the rice.
- Stir the rice in the oil until it begins to color. It should get just a little golden.
- Add the chopped beet greens .
- Add 1 tablespoon of the stock mixture and stir until it is absorbed. Repeat.
- Once you have added about 1/2 cup of stock by tablespoons the rice will be getting soft. You can begin to add it by 1/4 cup amounts, stirring the stock in and allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next batch.
- Once you have added half the stock, stir in the chopped beets.
- Continue adding broth until the broth is all absorbed into the rice and the rice is creamy looking and vivid red.
- Remove from heat and stir in Fontina. Add a little more wine if desired.
- Taste, adjust seasonings and serve with a sprinkling of fried beet greens* as a garnish.
*To fry beet greens just put greens in 375F oil one leaf at a time and fry intil crispy and bright green.
Images: marye audet