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Orange Scented Beet Risotto

February 26, 2011

“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.

One Year Ago: Spicy Black Beans with Spinach & Masa Dumplings
Two Years Ago: Mediterranean Pasta with Limas and Olives

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
2 beets
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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2011 4:20 pm

    WOW. I love beets!! I’m always looking for new things to do with them because their color is just so beautiful! they don’t have such a strong taste that you can’t put them in other things as well. Currently loving them in smoothies in the morning!

  2. February 26, 2011 8:06 pm

    There’s such childlike joy in vivid colored foods that stain your tongue.

  3. February 27, 2011 8:28 am

    I’m still laughing about our earlier beet conversation. 😉

  4. February 27, 2011 3:15 pm

    This is such a great idea – we love beets and I don’t make them often enough. Plus, the color is such a fun conversation piece!

  5. February 27, 2011 5:08 pm

    I made a beet risotto last year that managed to convert a couple supposed beet-haters – perhaps the color helps, not hurts? Seriously, who could resist! It’s gorgeous 🙂

  6. February 28, 2011 12:43 am

    This looks very tasty with beet! I had beet risotto some time ago, but without orange flavour…must give them a try next time. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. February 28, 2011 12:34 pm

    This looks amazing!

  8. February 28, 2011 7:36 pm

    Personally I do not understand either how someone could not like beats… in salads and in beautiful risotto like this.

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