Risotto with Baked Golden Beets

I figured it’s time to get back to posting about food now and then. This weekend at our farmer’s market, I was able to pick up a few golden beets, and made a delicious risotto (if I may say so). I won’t go into the Risotto part of the recipe other than to say I didn’t do anything special, just cooked the arborio rice with sautéed onion and vegetable broth until it was done.

For the risotto part, I chopped up the beet tops and some mushrooms, then sautéed them in olive oil until the mushrooms were browned and the beet tops just lightly wilted. I added a bit to tomato sauce to the risotto right before adding the sautéed greens, and mixed it all together with a liberal amount of Parmesan or Romano cheese.

What really made the meal good, though were the baked beets. It took about as long to bake them at 400 as it took to make the risotto. I quartered them, added olive oil and cut up part of rutabaga that I had left in the fridge, then mixed with the oil and a bit of salt until they were coated, and baked until they were tender. The juices of both root vegetables were trapped inside by the baked-on olive oils. Both the beets and the rutabaga were sweet, and more flavorful than if I made them on the stove. The combination with the risotto was excellent. The golden beets had a wonderful color — this would probably work with red beets, too, but the beet flavor might be stronger. So if you’re looking for something new to try with beets or a new ingredient to have with risotto, give this a try.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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