Orange Scented Beet Risotto
“This color is on the verge of offensive.”
He said it in the nicest possible way.
“Oh. It is beets! Okay then. I love beets.”
I think that was an apology.
So, you’re not rightly going to be able to serve this dish to self-proclaimed beet haters. There’s just no hiding the star player here. And why should we hide beets? They are such an under-appreciated vegetable. They come in bunches. They come attached to pretty, edible greens. And they make things a shockingly red color. And red is pretty. And pretty food tastes better.
Orange Scented Beet Risotto (adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, heated
zest of one orange, plus wedges of orange for serving
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In an oven heated to 425*, roast beets until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Allow to cook; then peel and dice into 1/2″ chunks. This step can be done in advance – simply refrigerate cooked and chopped beets until ready to use.
Heat olive oil in a medium stockpot over medium-high. Add rice and stir to coat. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1/2 the liquid is absorbed. Stir in orange zest. Add 3 cups broth in 1/2 cup intervals. Add 1/2 cup broth, stir occasionally until liquid is mostly absorbed and repeat until no broth remains. This process should take about 30 minutes. Just before serving stir in butter and half the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve each portion with 1 T Parmesan cheese on top. Offer orange slices to squeeze atop risotto before serving.