Ever searching for healthier ways to feed my family, I have been experimenting with all kinds of recipes. This beet risotto (accompanied by beef crumbles) is actually quite nutritious & filling; a new family favorite at our house!
*1.5 cups of Arborio Rice
*2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
*1/2 -1 lb. of hamburger meat
*2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
*1/2 c. dry white wine vinegar
*3 tablespoons of unsalted butter or Earth’s Balance spread (for vegan diets)
*1 tbsp. lemon zest
*1 tbsp. lemon juice (or 1/2 of a lemon)
*2-3 minced garlic cloves
*5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth (or veggie stock— see notes below)
*3 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
*1- 1.5 cups of Parmigiano Regiano cheese (the REAL deal straight from Italy)
*Pinch or two of sea salt
*Freshly ground black pepper
**Veggie stock: put potato skins & veggie ends in warm water for about 2 hours. This broth can be used instead of the chicken broth.**
Start with the beets first, as they take the longest to bake. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut off the beet tips by the leaves & then from the roots. Scrub them well in hot water & then pat dry. Toss each beet in olive oil & a little salt & then wrap them up individually in tin foil. Place beets in foil on a cookie sheet to catch dripping & bake for 50 mins. If they start scorching, open up the foil & add a little water to the beets & turn over. When beets are done, remove them from the foil & once no longer hot, peel beet skins off. Slice beets into wedges & then puree in a blender or with a hand mixer.
For risotto: In a large saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop, add the olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add shallots & garlic & cook, stirring frequently until soft & fragrant (for about 2 minutes.) Add rice & saute it all by stirring constantly until rice is evenly coated with oil (about 2-3 mins.) Add wine & cook until saucepan is almost dry. Incorporate the pureed beets & stir them in with the shallots & rice. Add a cup of warmed/hot chicken broth to the rice; reduce heat down to medium & cook until broth is almost fully absorbed. Risotto will take about 20 minutes to cook; it’s done when the rice grains are fully plump & tender. (You can always taste test, too!) Remove risotto from the heat & stir in butter or butter substitute while warm; then add lemon zest, lemon juice, & Parmigiano cheese. Sample/taste & add salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with chives & more cheese (or lemon juice if you’re not doing dairy.)
For hamburger crumbles: Brown hamburger meat in a frying pan on the stovetop. Add garlic powder or taco seasoning after cooked through (& don’t forget to drain the fat!) Mix warm crumbles in with the risotto.