[My New Favorite Recipe] Beet Risotto

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Hola, mi amigos! The weekend is here! :)

I have the most amazing recipe to share with you, but first, some blog maintenance. I've been working on my blog roll/link love page. I'm hoping to have that up next week, so if you want to be included make sure to send me an email: granolachronicles[at]gmail.com - thanks!

Ok, are you ready for this recipe? Zinfandel Risotto with Roasted Beets & Walnuts. I'm not even kidding! When I found out that beets were included in this week's CSA produce box, I had mixed feelings. Evan loves beets, and while I like them, I just haven't obsessed over them before. What I needed to find was a recipe that would completely win me over. 

Before adding the toasted walnuts - I was just too excited!

I had never made risotto but have wanted to try, so I knew this was the recipe when I stumbled across it. While the directions are rather long, it came together surprisingly easy. Don't be intimidated! 

I cannot even put into words how amazing this risotto tasted. Evan and I took our first bites and just stared at each other. After the initial shock faded, I exclaimed, "This is, by far, the best thing I have ever tasted."  No joke.

It's official, my friends. I love beets.

Zinfandel Risotto with Roasted Beets & Walnuts
Source: Sunset Magazine

1 pound baby or large red beets (about 3 lbs. if buying with greens)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 cups Zinfandel or other fruity red wine - I used Cabernet Sauvignon
1 qt. reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg - I used ground nutmeg
1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Trim any beet greens (save for another use) and wash beets. Put beets in a baking pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil. Cover with foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into 1/2-in. wedges.

Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast on another rack of oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely and set aside.

Bring wine and broth to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 7 minutes.

Stir in rice and cook until just beginning to stick to bottom of pan, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup wine mixture and cook, stirring, until liquid is almost absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup wine mixture and cook the same way. Continue adding wine mixture 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next, until all of it has been used and rice is almost tender to the bite, about 20 minutes. (Use hot water if you run out of wine.)

Remove pan from heat and add butter, nutmeg, 1/2 cup cheese, and the beets. Stir quickly, cover, and let sit 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir in salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the toasted walnuts. 

Yield: 6-8 servings
Note: I cut this recipe in half.

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