This was actually from the other night — a good light dinner, very delicious! I was looking for some way to use these very three ingredients from the CSA basket and thanks to Sarah’s Cucina Bella I did — the recipe is here.
Whew. I’m surprised I went ahead and did this — an exhausting (and somehow utterly boring) day left me feeling like a wreck. But I had already pulled together the ingredients and thought ‘heck with it’ — and I’m glad I did. Very, very delicious, and a great way to start the weekend.
For the Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the carrots, turnips, beets, thyme sprigs and garlic in a roasting pan with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Peel the beets. Keep the vegetables in the turned-off oven until the risotto is ready.
For the Risotto: Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth simmers gently.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until slightly crispy, about 3 minutes. Add shallots and cook stirring, until tender, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until it is glossy, about 1 minute. Add the salt. Add 1 cup of the Barolo and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Ladle in about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir constantly, until the rice again absorbs the liquid, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue ladling in about 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.
When rice is al dente, after 20 or so minutes of cooking time, stop adding broth. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup wine until just absorbed, then stir in the grated Parmesan and the butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let the risotto rest off the heat for a minute or so before serving. Divide among warm shallow bowls and top with the roasted vegetables. Shave black truffles over the top, or drizzle with a bit of truffle oil, if using.
Very jury-rigged — the pasta (which as you can clearly see is the same kind as used to make Spaghetti-Os) I’d already made and kept to the side, wondering what to do with it. Some random googling turned up this recipe, which was promising.
The trick lay with figuring out how to modify it — I’d no salmon around, but while I could have gone the mayo route as suggested, I didn’t have any and sour cream is just out. So it was a fairly basic version in the end, relying on dill, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to carry it, along with a bit of olive oil. And it actually worked very nicely, filling but flavorful while the beets, raw instead of pickled, added good crunch along with the coolness of the cucumbers.
Yes, I’m on a food roll this week, but hey, why not?
So the story here in part is this — some months back I posted this beet risotto recipe I’d tried out and according to a friend that post is now somewhere in the top ten or twenty posts on risotto with beets or the like in Google. Won’t say no.
Thus inspired I figured why not give another beet recipe a try, since I had some in the basket. As I had a lot of fennel I wondered if there was a combination recipe out there and it turns out there are plenty, but this one took my fancy — this is the page it’s found on. The difference is that I did not have any vermouth, so I simply substituted water and the thing still tasted great.
Which it did — I was quite pleased and a little surprised at how rich but mellow the dish come out as. With the cooking toning down the fennel a bit while the beets’ natural flavoring and the mustard combined nicely, not to mention the chives, I was quite pleased with this one, and it’s been a week of good eats. Give it a whirl if you like! Follow the link provided for the recipe, and please note the comments and suggestions as well.
Made from scratch – and most delicious.
1 small onion
1 pound red beets with greens (about 3 medium)
4 cups water
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup Arborio or long-grain rice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon bottled horseradish
Finely chop onion and trim stems close to tops of beets. Cut greens into 1/4-inch-wide slices and chop stems. Peel beets and cut into fine dice. In a small saucepan bring water to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook onion in butter over moderate heat until softened. Add beets and stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup simmering water and cook, stirring constantly and keeping at a strong simmer, until absorbed. Continue cooking at a strong simmer and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next. After 10 minutes, stir in greens and continue cooking and adding water, about 1/2 cup at a time, in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 8 minutes more. (There may be water left over.) Remove pan from heat and stir in Parmesan.
Serve risotto topped with horseradish.