Market Watch: Beets
Beets may not seem like an exciting veggie but, when these babies turn up at the farmer's market, all I can think about is making my Roasted Beet Risotto (recipe below). In the dish, beets and their greens (both edible!) join with creamy risotto for a comforting vegetarian meal.
Beets are full of healthy nutrients like folate, potassium and vitamin C. One cup has 15% of your daily fiber needs. Many folks skip beets -- or turn to the canned ones -- because they're not sure how to prep these root veggies. If that's you, check out the tips and recipes I shared in a past post -- Underappreciated: Beets.
I don’t like complicated recipes; risotto is a little time-consuming but simple to prepare. The delicious results are worth the extra time!
For the beets: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove greens from beets and wash both very well. Chop greens and set aside. Trim top and bottom of beets and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until just tender. Cool, peel, dice and set side.
For the greens: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add greens and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and sauté until just wilted. Set aside.
For the risotto: Bring stock to a simmer in a small saucepan. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion and fennel to the large saucepan and sauté until translucent (about 5 to 6 minutes); season with salt and pepper. Add rice to the saucepan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine to the rice mixture and cook until evaporated. Add a ladle of hot stock and stir until absorbed. When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle-full and repeat, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been added to the rice mixture and the rice is tender (approximately 20 minutes). Stir in the butter, cheese, cream, basil and lemon zest. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Top each portion of risotto with sautéed greens and roasted beets.