Mike and I gathered our final harvest of beets and leeks from our garden recently. It was our first time growing beets and they turned out just as beautiful as the leeks. We love to use beets in salads and I even made a Spicy Beet and Apple Chutney this year. Mike decided to try something we hadn’t made before and whipped up a Roasted Beet and Leek Risotto.
Roasting the beets first is the way to go. It takes about an hour to an hour and a half, but really enhances the flavors and gets them nice and tender. They smell so good as they roast in the oven too. We love the flavor of goat cheese with beets, so Mike took this approach with the risotto. The goat cheese gets super melty amongst the warm rice and brightens the earthy flavor of the beets so nicely. Mike also used the last of our leeks in place of a regular white onion, which added a nice fresh, more mild onion flavor.
This meal was pretty special since two of the key ingredients were pulled directly from our garden. I’m hungry just thinking about how good the flavors tasted together.
As the colder weather approaches, this is a recipe you’ll want for a cozy, warm-me-up meal. It makes a lot too, so if you think it tastes good right off the stove, you should try it the next day after the flavors get settled. Perfection.
You should also check out Mike’s Asparagus Risotto.
Roasted Beet & Leek Risotto
3 medium beets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium leek, cleaned, halved and sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oven to 375° F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Rinse the beets and trim off any leafy tops. Wrap completely in aluminum foil and place in the oven.
3. Roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool.
4. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel using a paring knife or by pushing the skin with your fingers. Dice the beets into 1/2” to 1” pieces and set aside in a bowl.
5. Bring broth to a low simmer on the stove top.
6. In a heavy medium saucepan, heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
7. Add leek with a dash of salt, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
8. Add rice; stir to coat.
9. Add wine; cook, stirring often to coat the rice, until almost completely absorbed, about 1-2 minutes.
10. Add the diced beets and stir until incorporated into the rice.
11. Add 1/2 cup simmering broth and stir until almost all is absorbed.
12. Add remaining 3-4 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 25-30 minutes total.
13. When the rice is tender but still firm, turn off the heat and immediately add 1 tablespoon butter, goat cheese and parsley, stirring vigorously to combine with the rice.
14. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.