Roasted Beet “Risotto” with Pecans

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I love this method for preparing a risotto style rice dish because it is much more forgiving and approachable than the traditional risotto method.  The method I use is very similar to  a pilaf method.  Saute aromatics, add rice, add wine, add stock, cover and cook.  The only difference is the type of rice used.  In this recipe, I use Arborio, an Italian, short grain rice.  By using Arborio and this method, the grains release a delicious, starchy liquid, just as in a traditional risotto.  You end up with a creamy rice dish,  without the twenty minutes of constant stirring and adding stock.  It may not be traditional – but this method does produce an extraordinary rice dish.

3 small beets

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine

3/4 cup Arborio rice

1 3/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp unsalted butter



1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wrap beets in aluminum foil and roast for 40 -45 until fork tender.   When cool enough to handle, remove skin using a pairing knife or vegetable peeler.  Dice into bite size cubes; set aside.

Add olive oil to a sauce pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Sweat until softened, being careful not to brown garlic or onions.

Add wine and rice.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add stock; increase heat to high and bring to boil.  Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.   After 15 minutes, remove cover, stir and add beets.  Cook covered for 10 more minutes and then add cheese and butter.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately, garnish with chopped pecans.


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