I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I LOVE making risotto in the winter – Standing in front of a warm stove and unconsciously stirring away is a bit like meditation for me. As an added bonus, you’re left with a pot of creamy, comforting deliciousness.
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is upon us. What’s more suitable than a bowl of bright red risotto?! Plus, it will pair awesomely with a bottle of nice champagne, which is always appreciated on this holiday.
Are you one who likes to go out on Valentine’s or would you prefer to stay in? I know that here in Portland, if you’re not on the ball with making your dinner reservations, you can be out of luck pretty quickly!
This is the perfect date night cooking dish – There’s not a lot of work, just a lot of stirring – So there’s plenty of time to just hang out in the kitchen, enjoy a glass of wine and talk about how much cooler it is to be at home on Valentine’s than out with the masses. Plus, the wine’s cheaper, so you can splurge on an extra special bottle!
This creamy risotto is a bit sweet from the beets and balanced out nicely with the tanginess of the goat cheese. If you’re not a goat cheese fan (what?!) you can always substitute feta or parmesan. Top with a confetti of parsley and some pomegranate seed gems and you’ve got yourself one pretty dish perfectly suitable for the occasion!
To amp up the meal, you can always add some seared scallops on the side. Plus, this arugula salad tastes amazing with the flavors in this risotto.
- 3 medium beets trimmed
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth 28 fl oz
- 3 cups water
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups Arborio rice 14 oz
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Tightly wrap beets foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly. Peel the beets under running cold water. Place two of the beets in a blender or food processor and process briefly, until somewhat smooth. Dice the remaining beet into 1/2 inch cubes.
While beets are cooling, bring broth and water to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan.
Heat butter in a wide, heavy pot over moderate heat. Cook the garlic and onion until softened and fragrant. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Using a ladle, stir in 1/2 cup warm broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding warm broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes.
Stir in beets, vinegar, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until heated through.
Top bowls of risotto with crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and parsley. Enjoy!
- This risotto will pair awesomely with a bubbly champagne – rose or otherwise. The effervescence helps cut down the creaminess of this dish and the sweetness of the beets is complimented nicely by the non-sharp acidic flavors in the wine.