Red and luscious, beets are a seductive vegetable. Get too close, they stain your mouth, your tongue, your fingers.  They’re a sordid love affair you can’t hide.  And what’s with the unearthly colour? It should be on a bedroom wall or a shade of lipgloss called “beetrayal.”  Put beets in a rissotto and your arborio rice instantly becomes a naughty slut, a threat to virtue and true love (like your boyfriend’s single co-worker with the full lips and penchant for working late.)


Finally: here’s the beet rissotto I made last week with the French Cock and friends. (Tip: Some beet risotto recipes call for pureeing the beets, but I prefer having chunks of beet in mine, and the colouring effect is just as intense.) This recipe is adapted from


Beet Rissotto




3 medium beets (1 1/2 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached (Tip: roast extra beets for leftovers and to make my Beet Endive Salad.)
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (28 fl oz) (I always use organic stock now, try to buy it on sale, the taste difference is worth it.)

3-4 cups water

1 small onion, finely chopped (I used shallots)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice (14 oz)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg (my addition, I love fresh nutmeg)

1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup) 






Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until very tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes.


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 broth and water 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 broth and simmer briskly, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, 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,  22-30 minutes. (The original recipe calls for less cooking time, but I prefer my texture sticky and the rice not too hard. I stir often as well… )


In the last few minutes, stir in beets, salt, and pepper (mixture will turn bright pink) and cook, stirring, until heated through. Thin as necessary with some of leftover broth, then stir in cheese and remove from heat.  Serve with extra cheese and grated nutmeg on top.



Beeting it out. It feels good!


Throw some asparagus on top for an extra hit of virtue.


Joey, Peter, Gigi, me and the FC: A close-knit family no lusty beet can tear asunder.


One Response to “The Colour Of Betrayal — Roasted Beet Risotto”

  1. Kate Says:

    laura! your cooking blog is fantastique! miss georgia in this picture makes my day as well! i can’t wait to visit montreal soon and come by for dinner! hope you are well. bisoux – kate

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