Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Dude. And I do mean dude. My sandwich today was so kickass. Homemade sourdough bread, the long ago mentioned cream cheese, garlic, thyme, sage kind of spready stuff, leftover slices of pot roast, and the last of the most scrappy type of lettuce we have under the hoops. Let me just pause here to give this little lettuce variety a serious high five. It's February people, and the weather has been like a hyperactive kid on a trampoline: way up and way down, fast. I do not have the seed packet in front of me, but I believe this hardy stuff is New Red Fire from these guys. These plants soldiered on long after our gorgeous heirloom speckled lettuce and all the oakleaf; not only did it just not die, it grows a substantial, thick, crisp leaf with pleasing ridges that contribute to the crunch. Which brings me back to my sandwich. Good lord. Let me also mention here that it was made for me by my guy, which means that the bread was perfectly toasted and the whole thing was most certainly dusted with just the right amount of salt and pepper. I want another one right now. (Discerning readers will quickly realize that this means we made pot roast yet again this week. What can I say - it's a new toy for us and the first one we bought was very small and shared with guests. Plus I find that beef is making me very energetic. Bonus.)

Anyway. The today is really about Beet Risotto. Which does not hit the same yum button as my sandwich but is also extremely tasty. Plus it has beets in it! And beet greens! Both of which are surely one of those super foods that will keep you from getting the cold that is going around and make you look startlingly good when you are 80. This recipe is easy peasy but does involve quite a lot of stirring so it's an excellent choice for when you will have clueless kitchen help over. Or drunken kitchen help. Or enthusiastic youngster help.

The exact amounts of the beets and the beet greens is very forgiving. Also, this will taste about 9000 times better with rich homemade stock. This is a stunner with a piece of seared fish on top.

Beet Risotto
I am pretty sure this is a hacked up Deborah Madison recipe

5 to 6 cups broth
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
chopped green something, like parsley or basil if you've got it
3 beets, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
3 or 4 cups chopped beet greens
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat stock and leave at a simmer on the stove. Heat the butter in a large pot. Saute onions on med to med-low heat until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and stir constantly until rice is thoroughly coated, for 1 minute. Stir in the white wine until it is totally absorbed. Stir in a few tablespoons of minced parsley or basil, and the grated beets; stir until mixed. Pour in about 2 cups of stock, stir and cover with a lid for a few minutes until the stock is totally absorbed.

Remove lid and add the beet greens, stirring until they are thoroughly incorporated and beginning to wilt. Begin adding the remaining stock in ½ cup increments, stirring constantly after each addition until thoroughly absorbed before adding the next. When most of the stock has been used, begin tasting the rice to get it to a doneness that you like. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with leftover chopped parsley or basil and additional cheese.


queenbeehoney said...

Ack ack. I have everything except the white wine. I'm going for it!

rachel said...

hmm, it looks so pretty but your relationship to goat cheese is just about the same as mine with beets. i keep tasting and i keep making a funny face.

cake said...

i have made that dish before (from madison), it is so beautiful, and so yummy.