I’ve posted a recipe for beet risotto before, a risotto made with regular vegetable or chicken stock and then combined with roasted beets. When I saw a recipe on Hans’ blog Chefsopinion in which he boiled beets and then used the water in which the beets had been boiled as stock, I thought that would be a nice alternative way to prepare a beet risotto. Since I like the combination of beets and goat cheese, I added some nice French raw milk goat cheese to the risotto. This turned out to be a wonderful combination.
For 2 servings
500 grams (1.1 lbs) raw beets
100 grams (3.5 oz) goat cheese, preferably raw milk
1 stick celery
130 grams (2/3 cup) carnaroli rice (or arborio)
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
3 Tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut 500 grams of beets into quarters without peeling them. Roughly chop an onion, a carrot, and stick of celery.
Put the vegetables into a pot and cover with 1 litre (4 cups) of water. Season with just a bit of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover and keep simmering until the beets are tender but firm to the bite, 45 minutes to an hour.
You can check with a fork whether the beets are cooked.
Lift the beets out of the stock and set aside.
Strain the stock into a saucepan through a fine sieve. Keep the stock hot.
Peel the beets, and grate them.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a wide shallow thick-bottomed pan. When the butter has melted, add a small onion, minced.
Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion starts to color.
Add 130 grams of risotto rice, and toast the rice until the edges are translucent.
Add 80 ml of dry white wine, and stir over medium heat until the wine has been absorbed. Regulate the heat such that the rice simmers nicely.
Add a ladle of stock…
…and stir until it has been absorbed. When that happens, add more stock, and keep stirring.
After about 10 minutes, add the grated beets.
Keep stirring and adding stock for between 15 and 20 minutes.
Start tasting the rice after 15 minutes. The rice should be tender but firm to the bite. Carnaroli is a bit easier than arborio, which has a shorter window of perfect doneness.
When the rice is cooked to your liking, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn off the heat.
Add a tablespoon of butter in small pieces. (At this point you could also add part of the goat cheese, if you like, and allow it to melt along with the butter. Or even replace the butter with additional goat cheese.)
Stir until the butter has melted, then cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.
Serve on preheated plates with chunks of goat cheese on top.
Goat cheese is always great with Sauvignon Blanc, especially Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Because of the earthy beets, I decided on an oak-aged Pouilly-Fumé that has been aged (a lot) further in the bottle. It worked very well indeed.
Domaine Masson-Blondelet, Tradition Cullus 2003 Pouilly-Fumé
- 100% sauvignon blanc from old vines, aged in new 600 litre oak casks.
- Color: golden from age
- Nose: minerals and complex
- Taste: balanced and complex with a long finish
- Conclusion: Very good, ****1/2 (it was a bit better a couple of years ago)
- Combination: ******
Although you may associate this dish with summer, Gambas al Pil Pil can be enjoyed throughout the year.