Mike and I recently collected the last of our beets and leeks from the garden. It was our first time growing beets ourselves and they turned out so beautiful. We typically use beets in salads, but I wanted to try some unexpected recipes with them this year. Last month, I made a Spicy Beet and Apple Chutney and recently, Mike whipped up this Roasted Beet and Leek Risotto making minor twists to his traditional risotto recipe.
Recipe Tip 1: Roast the Beets
Roasting the beets first is a must. You simply wash them, trim off the leaves and wrap them in tin foil and place them in a baking pan and roast them for 35-45 minutes in a 400 degree. It really enhances the flavors and gets them nice and tender for cooking.
Recipe Tip 2: Use Goat Cheese Instead of Parmesan
We love the flavor of goat cheese with beets, so Mike took this approach with the risotto. The goat cheese gets super melty and delicious and really brightens the earthy flavor of the beets.
Recipe Tip 3: Use Leeks instead of White Onions
We used our leeks instead of a regular white onion. It was a tasty substitute. I also thought being able to use two key ingredients right from our garden made this recipe extra special.
Recipe Tip 4: The Leftovers Taste Even Better
This recipe makes a lot, so if you think it tastes good right off the stove, you should try it the next day after the flavors are even more settled.
ROASTED BEET AND LEEK RISOTTO
- 3 medium beets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 medium leek, cleaned, halved and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 375° F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Rinse the beets and trim off any leafy tops. Wrap completely in aluminum foil and place in the oven.
- Roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel using a paring knife or by pushing the skin with your fingers. Dice the beets into 1/2” to 1” pieces and set aside in a bowl.
- Bring broth to a low simmer on the stove top.
- In a heavy medium saucepan, heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
- Add leek with a dash of salt, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add rice; stir to coat.
- Add wine; cook, stirring often to coat the rice, until almost completely absorbed, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the diced beets and stir until incorporated into the rice.
- Add 1/2 cup simmering broth and stir until almost all is absorbed.
- Add remaining 3-4 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 25-30 minutes total.
- When the rice is tender but still firm, turn off the heat and immediately add 1 tablespoon butter, goat cheese and parsley, stirring vigorously to combine with the rice.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.