BEET SAGE RISOTTO


When Living on the Vedge challenged me to March to the Beet, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Although beets are vegetables that possess several impressive health benefits, that does not change its bitter earthy taste. So I accepted this challenge, beets and all and let's just say I experienced stages of disappointment, doubt, frustration and denial. Thankful enough for me, I was able to prevail and pull off this incredible beet sage risotto. Luckily for me, I love to cook with color. Others, on the other hand, may have a rather hard time seeing past the pinkish grains. Check out the recipe below:

Ingredients

2-3 medium sized beets

1 cup arborio rice, (do not wash)

1 shallot, diced

5 cups vegetable/chicken stock

⅓ cup dry white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon butter

Fresh sage, chopped

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Fresh sea salt, to taste


Equipment

Cast Iron/ Skillet

Immersion blender/ Food processor


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets thoroughly, wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven for about 1- 1½ hours or until tender. Remove from oven, add lemon juice, blend well with an immersion blender or food processor and set aside. In a large saucepan or pot, bring chicken stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

In a cast iron over medium-high heat, add grapeseed oil. Once the oil is hot, add shallots and garlic to cast iron. Cook until shallots are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Next, add rice and roast grains for about 2- 3 minutes. Then add dry wine to rice and cook until the alcohol cooks off. Stir in beet puree. About ½ cup at a time, add the hot chicken stock to the rice, while constantly stirring to ensure the rice does not burn. Make sure the chicken stock is fully absorbed before added another ½ cup. You want to be careful not to over-stir while this is cooking. Stirring the rice constantly will add air into the risotto, cooling it down and making it gluey. BE PATIENT. As the starch in the rice begins to cook out, that's how the rice begins to get its creamy texture. When the rice is thoroughly cooked, remove from heat. Stir in butter, sage, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Plate and serve immediate