I wish there had been a better time than the night before Valentine's day for me to get around to posting this recipe. I'm afraid it will get lost in a sea of pink and red recipes and you will never get around to trying this for yourself.
But I urge you to take a stand: pink food is appropriate 364 other days a year. And since this year is a leap year, you get a bonus day. Take that bonus day to treat yourself to Roasted Beet Risotto.
The process of making the risotto was simple enough, especially since I made the beet puree a few days in advance, though it did require standing next to the stove for a half an hour; a sacrifice that I'm willing to make when the payoff is this big. And when I served it along side some of our favorite roasted chicken and a green salad, Tim thought maybe he had forgotten a special occassion.
Roasted Beet Risotto
recipe adapted slightly from Gourmet, November 2004
serves 6 to 8
3/4 cup to 1 cup roasted beet puree
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups Arborio or Jasmine rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt & pepper
In a medium pot, bring broth and water to a simmer. Cover and keep on low heat.
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed. Stir in 1 ladle (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup broth/water mixture) liquid and stir until liquid is absorbed. Continue simmering, stirring, and adding liquid, 1 ladle at a time, allowing liquid to be absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes, until rice is creamy and just tender. When there is about 2 ladles of liquid left, stir in fresh thyme. Add another ladle of liquid and beet puree.
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tbsp kosher salt and 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper). Thin if necessary with remaining liquid. Risotto should spread in the bowl or plate. Serve hot.