So here’s a tasty little treat that I can’t believe I never thought of before — Beet Risotto!

This got me to thinking that you could easily adapt this to a wide variety of vegetables and even fruits!  Stay tuned for additional ideas. For some reason, I’m thinking ‘peaches’.

I can’t take the full credit for this idea. A friend of mine had posted a photo of his dinner and when I saw this gorgeous red pile of something I immediately wrote to him and asked, “What is THAT??”  He hipped me to this concept of beet risotto, but having winged it, he had no recipe to share. He pointed me in the direction of a few and, after reading then through, discovered how easy this was.

Basically, make risotto the usual way and add beets. Duh!  You can go two ways – roast the beets for an hour and then chop or shred them and add without pre-cooking. I went with the shredding method.

For those who are not familiar with making risotto, it’s very easy. You heat your broth, sauté the rice and gradually add the heated  broth to the rice.

Here’s a slightly more detailed version.

Vegan Beet Risotto

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 50 mins

  • 2-4 beets
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped (or half a large onion)
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice (or Sushi Rice)
  • ¼ cup vermouth, or white wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Smart Balance (or any vegan butter)
  • fresh parsley or thyme, for topping

Instructions

  1. Beet method 1: wrap the beets in foil and roast them in the oven at 350F (180C) until tender, about 1 hour. Peel and chop into ¼ inch (5mm) cubes to make 3 cups; set aside. Beet Method 2:  Peel the beet with a small pairing knife and grate into a bowl (wear latex gloves to keep from looking like an axe murderer)
  2. Heat vegetable stock in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce to simmer.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and onion. Cook 3min until onion is soft.
  4. Add rice, stirring to coat and toss grains, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in vermouth/wine until absorbed.
  6. If using fresh shredded beets, add them now.
  7. Add stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes total. Rice should be loose, creamy but not mushy, and al dente (still slightly firm at center of grain).
  8. If using cooked beets, add them now.
  9. Add salt and stir in margarine.
  10. Serve in warmed bowls, and scatter with fresh parsley or thyme.
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