Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beet Risotto - Vegan

A few days ago, my husband came home with some beets from his co-worker's garden.

I like eating locally grown produce, and home-grown produce is the best. The only problem was that I had never cooked with beets and I don't recall ever having eaten them before either. What do I do? I looked up some recipes online, and decided to make a beet risotto loosely based on the food network's recipe.

What goes in your body (4 vegan servings):
  • Beets (I used a bunch of small beets equal to about 2 medium sized beets)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2-3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup of Pistachio nuts
You are going to:
  1. Wash beets well and wrap them in aluminum foil together with garlic. Roast them in an oven until beets are fully cooked. (Roasting time varies depending on the size of beets.)
  2. Let beets cool until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut them into chunks.
  3. Blend 2 cups of vegetable stock, beet chunks and roasted garlic together in a blender or food processor.

  4. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Add rice to the oil and toast it for a couple minutes.
  5. Slowly add the beet puree to the pan and cook until rice is tender stirring occasionally. (If the rice looks too dry, add some more vegetable stock or water for desired consistency.)
  6. Meanwhile, shell and chop Pistachio nuts. Dry roast them in oven or fry pan. (Or you can use 1/4 cup of shelled chopped and roasted nuts from a store.)
  7. Mix Pistachio nuts into cooked rice and serve. 
Secrets from the chef:
  • Wear a pair of surgical gloves while peeling beets if you want to avoid having your fingers becoming temporarily pink. 
  • Avoid wearing light color clothes when cooking with beets as the deep color of beets can stain your clothes.  
  • It makes a very eye-catching side dish. I served with Rosemary baked cod and stir flied okra & baby lima beans.

Bon appétit!

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