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Roasted Red Beet Risotto with Lime Zest

November 28, 2010

Somehow, back when I ate cheese I never discovered the wonders of risotto, but now that I’m vegan, I just can’t get enough. I used this Gourmet recipe as a starting point, but made a few adjustments — especially adding the lime which gives it a wonderful kick. Of course nothing can compare to the beautiful deep color the beets produce.

Roasted Red Beet Risotto with Lime Zest

3 medium red beets
1 small onion, finely chopped [next time I might use 2 large shallots instead]
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
zest of 1 lime

There are many different ways to roast beets, but I find the easiest way is to peel the outer layer off of the skin using a sharp knife and then wrap the beets in tinfoil. Let them cook for around 1 hour (depending on size) or until tender at 425°F. Let them cool for about 10-15 minutes in the tinfoil then use as you like. You can also buy prepared beets, but nothing compares to the flavor of fresh ones.

As I’ve said before, one of the tricks with risotto — and one of the reasons I avoided it for so long — is that you have to constantly be stirring. It is therefore very important to have your equipment and ingredients set up before you start the process. Luckily this recipe is fairly simple, but I still like to measure out my wine and broth beforehand.

Sauté onion in olive oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly (of course), until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking. This should take around 20 minutes.

Stir in beets and watch the color change — just keep stirring!

Stir in zest, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

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