The color red

I’m very blue.  I can’t discuss why but my blue demeanor is why there has been no activity on this blog for a while.  I’ll just leave it at that. No sense making everyone sad and worried.


Let’s talk about red.  Red is happy.  I made a sanguine risotto tonight.  I also sort of messed up on the recipe.  I bought the ingredients last Tuesday(!) and I was too upset to cook all week.  I didn’t grocery shop this weekend and when I went to figure out what there was to eat, I was amazed that the beets and basil I bought almost a week ago were in really good condition.  I was so excited that I didn’t let the food go bad that I didn’t follow directions.  I was using the recipe for Beet Risotto with Greens from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  When I went shopping I made my first mistake.  I read the recipe as needing chard or the greens from the beets (I read an “or” not an “and”).  I was going to get both anyway but the chard looked bad.  I decided that the bunch of beets I got had more than enough greens for the recipe.  Then tonight, I misread that I was supposed to add chard (or ½ of those beet greens) with the rice and the rest of the beet greens towards the end.  The beet greens cooked down to a silky soft consistency that was really a pleasure to eat, but I can see where she was going with the recipe.  It might have been nice to have some greens with a chewy texture too.  Either way, this dish was super healthy and really satisfying to eat.


Beet Risotto

Accidentally adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison


5 ½ to 6 cups vegetable stock


1 tbsp butter


2 tbsp olive oil


½ of a large yellow onion, diced


1 ½ cups Arborio rice


½ cup dry white wine


2 tbsp chopped parsley


2 tbsp chopped fresh basil


3 – 4 medium beets peeled and grated in a food processor (about 2 cups)


4-6 cups beet greens (washed well to remove sand), chopped finely


Salt and pepper to taste


Grated zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon


½ cup parmagiano reggiano


Chive blossoms (optional)


Bring the stock to a boil and then leave simmering on the stove.  Heat the oil and melt the butter in a deep, wide pot.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes until softened.  Add the rice.  Cook for one minute stirring to coat.  Add the wine.  Simmer until the wine is absorbed.  Stir in half the parsley, the basil, the grated beets and the beet greens.  Add 2 cups of stock.  Simmer, stirring until most of the stock is absorbed.  Add more stock ½ cup at a time stirring until the stock is absorbed.  Repeat the adding of stock, stirring and absorbing until you use up most of the stock.  When ½ cup of stock is left, taste the risotto to see if the rice is al dente.  If so you may not need more than 5 ½ cups of stock total.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice and zest of the lemon.  Serve dusted with cheese and garnished with the remaining parsley and chive blossoms if you have them.