Sweet red beets add a beautiful pink hue to this risotto. Don’t be intimidated by making risotto – it’s easy!
As a food blogger, I spend most of my time in the kitchen. I love being in the kitchen cooking my own food. There are times, however, that I just don’t want to step foot in my kitchen. So, I reserve going out to eat for those times.
I judge restaurants based on a few things – their website, the size of their menu, and if they have risotto. I’m so weird when it comes to picking restaurants, but I’m definitely on to something here because I’ve never picked a bad one.
If a restaurant has a good website then I’m more likely to choose it. I’m just a sucker for a good website and viewing the menu before hand is helpful. If a restaurant doesn’t have a menu I usually do a little research and can find reviews, which usually give me a good impression of the place. If I get a good feeling about it, we try it. If not, I find another.
The size of the menu is always a great indicator of a good restaurant. I like small-medium sized menus. A menu that is too big usually means a lot of the food is frozen/not fresh. This is a big thing for me now that I have to be gluten-free. Restaurants that are cooking fresh food can modify just about anything to make it work for me. Chain restaurants are the worst because most use pre-packaged food, so unless they have a dedicated section of gluten-free options it’s really hard for me to find something.
And finally, if a restaurant serves risotto I’m there. To me, this means that they probably have a great chef that knows what they are doing. If a restaurant can turn out a good risotto, then everything else is probably excellent as well. This little method I have hasn’t failed me yet. And, two of my all-time favorite restaurants have risotto on their menu.
Can you tell how much I love risotto?
Not only do I love ordering risotto when I’m out, but I love making it at home. It’s really not that difficult to do – you just need a little patience and can’t be doing a million things at once.
My biggest tips for making a great risotto are:
- Make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped ahead of time. This just makes things so much easier.
- Have your chicken stock hot! This ensures that everything is the same temperature throughout cooking, which means you’ll end up with perfectly cooked risotto.
- Season every step of the way. This takes ordinary risotto to extraordinary – just a little sprinkle of salt and pepper during each stock addition makes all the difference.
With those tips you’ll be a pro at risotto in no time!
I start this red beet risotto by roasting fresh beets. All you have to do is scrub them clean, season them, and wrap them in foil. Toss them in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are tender and you’re ready to get cooking!
I blend most of the beets with chicken stock, which is what is going to give your risotto that pretty pink hue. I reserve a few chopped beets off to the side so that I can mix them in at the end.
I think this risotto makes such a pretty presentation and I think it would be the perfect thing to serve on Valentine’s Day – so bookmark this for when February rolls around!
- 3-5 Small-Medium Red Beets, scrubbed
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 1 ¼ Cups Arborio Rice
- ¼ Cup Red Wine
- ¼ Cup Mascarpone Cheese
- ¼ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400º.
- On a large piece of foil and combine the beets with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil around the beets and place on a small baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender. Let cool until you can handle them.
- Peel the beets with a peeler or your hands (always wear gloves when dealing with beets!). Cut the beets into a medium dice. Reserve ¾ cup for stirring into the finished risotto.
- Combine the chicken stock and diced beets (all but ¾ cup) into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth liquid. Pour the broth into a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted add in the onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Add in the rice and stir to coat. Allow the rice to toast for a minute and then add in the red wine. Stir well and once the wine is just about evaporated add in a ladle full of the chicken stock. Keep the heat on medium low and stir regularly. Once each ladle full is just about absorbed, you’ll add another.
- You’ll keep repeating this process until all of the chicken broth is absorbed into the rice. This will take between 20-25 minutes.
- Once you add the last ladle, give the risotto a good stir and then add in the mascarpone cheese. Once it’s melted remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- Keep the heat steady while you’re adding in the chicken stock. If it’s too hot, the stock will evaporate too quickly and you’ll end up with undercooked risotto. You want it to be at a gentle simmer at all times.
- I like to season my risotto after each stock addition. Just with a little bit of salt and pepper. This helps ensure your risotto is flavorful and now bland. Don’t go overboard, but just a little sprinkle each time makes a world of difference in the final product.
Beverley @ sweaty&fit says
Haha i LOVE how risotto is a decision making factor for you in choosing restaurants – i am pretty similar because i dont eat meat so i always check to see if risotto is a option for vegetarians. If it is – i am game!!
Beverley @ sweaty&fit recently posted…ADIDAS #runmore x Sweaty and Fit
Haha yep, I love when a restaurant has it on the menu! 🙂
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
Ugh, I hate when restaurants have huge menus. Ew, like cheesecake factory. That is more like a textbook than menu! Too insane! I love risotto too. And this red beet risotto sounds delicious! And so pretty! Look at that great pink color. You should probably make this for Kyle for Valentine’s Day : )
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Healthy Zucchini Bread
Ugh I know! It takes forever to just look at the menu, let alone make a decision. Have I mentioned I am terrible at making decisions? Large menus and me don’t mix well. I’m definitely going to be making this on Valentine’s Day – it’s just too pretty!
Maya @ Treats and Eats says
Ha, I’m totally a sucker for a good website too! I love risotto too- this sounds great!
Maya @ Treats and Eats recently posted…Aperol and Gin Cocktail
Glad I’m not alone! 😉 Thanks Maya!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
I love the color of this risotto, Keri! It looks just perfect! I’ve never thought to add beets to risotto. What a creative idea!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…White Chocolate Pound Cake Frappuccino
Thanks Gayle! It’s a wonderful combination!
Caitlin @ teaspoon says
i totally agree with your restaurant criteria! i was with some friends last week and we all had to say our favorite meal. mine was risotto. I can’t wait to try a new one with beets! I would have never thought of that.
Caitlin @ teaspoon recently posted…Culinary Globetrotting in Copenhagen
It’s one of my favorites too! You’ll love the beet version – I have plans to make it again in the next few days!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I hear you on EVERYTHING you mentioned about selecting a restaurant to eat at. For me, it HAS to have a menu on their site. I am so SO picky i.just.can’t. If they don’t. I’m sure I drive my husband crazy with my quirks and substitutions, but happy wife happy life!! This risotto is gorgeous, Keri! That pink color is everything! I want to face dive into a big ‘ole bowl of this stuff but it’s just so gosh darn pretty I feel like I should restrain myself and be a little lady like… so maybe use a shovel to stuff my face instead? 😉 I’m definately pinning this, but I can’t promise I can wait until valentine’s day to make it!! ♡ Cheers, girlfriend!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Green Goddess & Salmon Summer Bibb Wedge Salad
Haha I’m glad I’m not the only that takes choosing a restaurant so seriously! Thanks, Cheyanne – I totally ate half of the pan after I shot this recipe. I just couldn’t stop eating it! Definitely don’t wait until Valentine’s Day.. I already have plans to make it again 🙂