Friday, March 19, 2010

Risotto with Beets and Kale:

On a recent trip I grabbed the latest copy of Cooking Light magazine to read on the plane. What did I find inside but an article featuring the restaurant the Monster had taken me to for my birthday a few weeks prior. In the magazine, the restaurant shared a recipe for beet risotto that caught my attention. Gorgeous color and met the requirements of appearing tasty and fairly healthy.

I was lucky enough to see an old friend for the first time in about 20 years on my visit.
We got a little snap happy. :-)

She just happens to share her life with a wonderful cook (she's pretty amazing in this dept. too) AND an immense Wolf range. Long story short, after walking to Whole Foods and braving a freako hail storm (in SF?!) on the way home, we made the risotto recipe.
The only thing I'd suggest doing differently from what you'll see in the photos is to cook the risotto in a non-reactive pan. Stick with a good stainless steel pan for this one.

Tonight I plan on making a version using golden beets and barley in lieu of the red beets and arborio rice from the first round...will update with the alternative recipe if it works out!

Risotto with Beets and Kale:
(slightly adapted from Olivia restaurant's recipe)

1 pound red beets
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 cups chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
2 cups vegetable broth, or reduced salt chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp+ salt
Optional...not: chevre or other nice fresh goat cheese. Fyi, Humbolt Fog is awesome with it.

Preheat oven to 350°

Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Wrap beets in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool. Trim off beet roots and stems; rub off skins. Cut beets into quarters. Place beets, vinegar, tarragon, and 1 tablespoon oil in a blender. Process until smooth; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Heat 1 Tbs oil in pan and add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add kale to pan; cook 5 minutes or until kale wilts, stirring frequently. Remove kale mixture from pan; wipe pan clean.

Bring broth and 2 cups water to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next, until all broth has been used. Should take around 20 minutes.

Stir in pureed beet mixture, kale, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Remove from pan and serve topped with a bit of nice fresh goat cheese on each plate if you know what's good fer ya.

No comments: