April 16, 2011

Beet Risotto with Seared Baby Bok Choy

The slowest of Saturdays started with a leasurely, grey walk to Ft. Greene park to pick up fresh veggies and cappuccinos with GK. I love going to the farmers market in the spring because so many of the vegetables are covered in dirt (and rightfully so considering their origin). Turnips, daikon, radishes, potatoes, garlic, onions, and a great array of greens. We decided on 6 oddly shaped red beets, some yellow onions, a bunch of beet greens, and two handfuls of lovely baby bok choy.

On weekends, I like to cook like a TV show host, meticulously chopping, portioning, and prepping ingredients in various glass bowls- delighting in the ease and class involved in the practice of making. If you have never made risotto, this recipe is a great way to start because it is very forgiving and delicious- just make sure to give yourself enough time (1hr) and consider preparing ingredients before anything goes on the heat.

This recipe for Beet Risotto was passed along to me from a dear friend, AW, and it has been a favorite  ever since. It is the perfect spring dish and has such a lovely colour and richness. It stands on its own quite well but is delightful when paired with roasted asparagus, salad greens, or carrot soup.

8 cups vegetable stock, heated
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs margarine
2 medium yellow onions (diced finely)
4 cloves garlic (diced finely)
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
5 Tbs. fresh parsley (chopped)
1 Tbs. dried basil
5-6 small/medium-sized beets (peeled and grated)
3 cups chopped greens (any kind- kale or beet work well)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon

Heat up the stock and keep it over low heat on a back burner. Heat up the margarine and oil in a large soup pot over low heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir for 2 more minutes. Add the rice and toast for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Add the wine and stir till absorbed. Add the parsley, basil, beets, and greens alongside a few cups of stock. Simmer till absorbed. Add the rest of the stock slowly over the next 20-30 minutes, stirring often and making sure not to burn. Add more stock or water if necessary. Add salt to taste. Once the rice is soft and delicious, remove the pot from heat and add the fresh ground pepper and lemon zest and juice. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!

Bok Choy
6-8 baby bok choy (split, lengthwise) 
1/2 yellow onion (very thinly sliced)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves fresh garlic (diced finely)
2 Tbs olive oil

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil and then the onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute quickly for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the bok choy, and heat until slightly browned and the leaves are just barely wilted. Top with sesame seeds.

Now it is raining and we have been reading poetry aloud for hours accompanied by coffee cups and the sounds of Bedford ave. Here's to hoping you are having an equally slow and delicious Saturday,

1 comment:

  1. I can't pass up baby bok choy when I see it either; I love the fresh bitterness of it.