I am quite excited for this blog because I am doing one of my favorite italian dishes which is the risotto. Risotto is one of the common ways of cooking rice in Italy. It’s a very humble dish. I love its’ creamy texture and flavour which made me crave and thought of cooking it for lunch. But I wanted to add another component to it and all I could think about is beetroot. Beetroot for me was an interesting crop and most of the time I would only cook it at work so I finally decided to cook with it at home. My first encounter with beetroot was when I had my J1 internship at a hotel in Austin. ( not mentioning the hotel’s name for legal purposes. Lol)
It was a new crop for me because it wasn’t really popular in my home country and they sell it pretty expensive since it’s not a common root crop here in the Philippines. Not everyone like it probably because they think it taste like dirt. I find it very appealing and earthy and if you know how to cook it the right way, then you will definitely appreciate this rootcrop wonder.
This dish is also an inspiration from one of my favorite chef, Luca Manfe; winner of Masterchef Season 4. He’s an italian guy from New York who loves beets and all kinds of cheeses and I find inspiration im him as well because before he became the winner, he was rejected on his first audition on Masterchef. This rejection didn’t stop him and he continued practicing his craft until he was given the opportunity the next season! And through his hardwork and perseverance, he finally made it to the top. He was just once a humble guy and now has gone so far and his story gives me hope in terms of my culinary journey.
So without further ado, I have made a Creamy Beetroot Risotto. It’s very rich and creamy and hopefully you will like it as much as I did. Fun thing about this too is the risotto would have this bubblegum color! A great contribution from the beetroot. Beautiful crop indeed! 🙂
Creamy Beetroot Risotto
2 red beets, cleaned
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup cream cheese (or use goat cheese)
1 cup white wine/ red wine
1 cup roasted pistachios
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, set aside more for pistachios
1 qt vegetable stock; you can use water too
3 Tbsp butter
1 large shallot, brunoise
1/2cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup chives, chopped
2 Tbsp Apple-cider vinegar/ white wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1. Add beets into a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until tender. You can check the doneness by inserting a fork or thin knife. If there is no resistance, it is done.
2. Drain the beets and let it cool slightly. Peel the skin off using your hands then sliced a small portion of the beets into cubes for garnish. Pass the remaining through a cheese grater. Set aside.
3. While the beets are still cooking, toast the pistachios in a pan until lightly brown. When it is cool enough, roughly chop pistachios.
4. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and keep it that way.
5. In another large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots and add the rice. Toast the rice, stirring, for 3 minutes until the rice looks slightly translucent.
6. Pour in the wine and raise the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly until the wine has been absorbed, roughly 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium.
7. Keep stirring and adding a ladle of hot stock at a time allowing each ladle to be absorbed before the next.
8. At the 10 minute cooking time of the risotto, add the grated beets and stir well then add the goat cheese after and keep on stirring to bring the starch out of the rice.
9. At the 17 minute mark, taste the rice. It should be al dente and keep it cooking adding a ladle of stock as needed until the rice is tender and creamy.
10. When it is done, remove it from the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, parmesan cheese, chives, vinegar and stir well. You can add a little more stock if the risotto is still looking thick. Season with salt and pepper.
11. Add the toasted pistachios to the risotto, a dollop of cream cheese, the sliced beets and chives for garnish.