When I studied in Chile last year, I frequented Buenos Aires, Argentina quite a bit. I love just about everything about BA – the loud, friendly (sometimes too friendly) people, the bustling streets, the open air markets called ferias, the fantastically beautiful yet inexpensive leather goods, the ice cream, the food, and the STEAK. OMG the steak is fantastic. Can I go back just for a steak and malbec filled dinner? With dulce de leche panqueques? Pleeeeeassseee?
Ok I digress. So on one of my many trips to Buenos Aires, I went to my favorite breakfast/lunch cafe, Oui Oui in the Palermo district. It’s a fantastic little place with the BEST cafe con leches EVER. Anyway, I went for lunch with my mom and brother when they were visiting and ordered the lunch special “el menu” (pronounced “men – ew”) which included a bunch of wonderful courses and mint lemonade (which I need to try to recreate). Can you tell I love BA? I keep getting excited and talking about everything except the point.
So the point is, on this “menu” that I ordered came with a gorgeous red beet risotto with goat cheese and arugula. Not only was it gorgeous, it was DELICIOUS! I’ll admit, it was my very first beet experience and now I’m obsessed with these beautiful red root vegetables.
The other day I decided to recreate the dish that I adored so much with a few variations. It did not disappoint.
I suggest you try it!
Red Beet Risotto with Parmesan and Arugula
2 – 3 red beets, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 c finely diced yellow onion
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 c arborio rice
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 c chicken broth
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
2 c fresh, organic arugula
Salt and pepper to taste
Here’s how you do it:
Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium-hight heat. Add diced beets, onions, salt & pepper, and saute until soft, about 6-8 minutes.
Remove contents of pan and throw into a blender. Blend until almost smooth (a few chunks adds texture). Return blended beet-onion mixture to pan. Add arborio rice and mix into the beet mixture. Add balsamic vinegar.
Reduce heat to medium. Now, begin incorporating chicken stock into the rice. Begin with 1 cup of broth. Stir until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, then add next cup of broth. Stir until absorbed. Continue with this method until all 4 cups are mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes.
The rice should be fluffy and tender. Turn off the heat and add parmesan cheese. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes.