Our Winning Risotto Recipe

"Beet it"
with beets, raspberry balsamic jam, orange zest and aged goat cheese

This gorgeous magenta recipe was one of the winners at Saturday's Risotto Challenge at Jimmy's No. 43*! Congrats to us and all the other amazing risotto competitors.

Conceived in the gastronomic wonderland of LM Kitchen by Laena & Liv, this risotto is sweet, savory and tangy. While decidely feminine in color (Liv was overheard describing it to a taster as "a lovely Barbie color"), it has the punch and flavor to cross gender boundaries. The beets and aged goat cheese bring an earthiness, while the raspberries, balsamic and citrus give it a sweet, fruity pop. Delicious accompanied by an arugula or spinach salad with citrus dressing.

3 medium beets
6 cups chicken stock** (or vegetable stock for vegetarians)
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, minced
1 1/2 cups white wine (Kara Masi uses Vermouth, which is a fun alternative for anyone with a bottle languishing on a shelf)
2 cups Italian short grain rice such as Carnaroli or Arborio
1/2 cup raspberries, thawed or fresh
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 orange, zested and juiced (reserve 1 tbsp juice)
1/2 cup aged goat cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Cook raspberries and balsamic over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let rest. Boil beets until tender and let cool. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, discarding stems and root ends, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. While beets are cooling, bring stock to a bare simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Cook onion in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup stock and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding stock, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and creamy-looking, 18 to 22 minutes. (Reserve leftover stock.)

Stir in beets, salt, and pepper (be prepared, mixture will turn bright pink!) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the raspberry balsamic jam. Thin as necessary with some of leftover stock, then stir in cheese, orange juice and zest and remove from heat.

*Jimmy and crew were awesome, thank you. Go there for great beer and good people if you haven't already.
**Note: using stock instead of broth and/or water will produce a much more flavorful and rich risotto. You can find it ready-made in the grocery store or Fresh Direct, or you can make your own! Save your chicken bones and veggie scraps (especially if you are part of a local CSA) in the freezer, then cook up a pot of stock and freeze for future use. So good.