Pink Ribbon Risotto

By on October 14th, 2011 Categories: Day-to-Day Matters

Besides being Vegan Mofo, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ve never been a “rah-rah” joiner of causes. But since my oldest sister, Babs, and several of my good friends are breast cancer survivors, I’m sucking it up in their honor and am hopping on the “think pink” bandwagon, for at least a day.

Although I’m smitten with the earthy-sweet flavor of beets, I must admit that I love them, first and foremost, for their ability to naturally impart foods with a vibrant, Schiaparelli-pink hue. It’s hard not to smile when faced with a plate of flaming pink rice! Although this easy risotto tastes rich and comforting – perfect for a chilly fall night – it’s deceptively low in fat [less than 5 grams per serving].

Confession: Being a connoisseur of groan-inducing puns, it took everything I had to not title this post “Beet Breast Cancer.”

Pink Ribbon Risotto

  • 1 small red beet
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 T  olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice [Important: use Arborio. Other varieties won’t work for risotto]
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine [Optional]
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Serves 4

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beet in foil, place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until soft. Remove foil, peel and chop finely. Set aside. Be careful: beet juice will stain countertops and clothing.  [Time- and energy-saving tip: I bake several beets at once, and use the rest to make borscht or to slice for salads]

Warm stock over medium in a medium saucepan.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Cook about 1 minute, then add the wine, if using, or a ladle of warm stock. Stir. Turn heat to medium low.

Once most of the stock is absorbed, add the beets and another ladle of stock. Stir and cook until the stock is almost absorbed. Continue in this manner, adding stock, a ladle at a time, stirring occasionally and cooking until stock is absorbed, until the rice reaches your desired consistency –about 30-40 minutes.

Adjust seasonings and serve warm.

This post was borrowed with permission from Dynise’s blog, urban vegan.

The author of The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine (Globe Pequot, 2009) and the upcoming Celebrate Vegan: 200 Life-Affirming Recipes for Occasions Big and Small (Globe Pequot, October 2011), Dynise Balcavage’s recipes have appeared in VegNews, Vegetarian Times, Végétariens magazine (in French) and on Dynise has been interviewed in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune and has done cooking demonstrations across the globe, from New York to Paris. She lives in Philadelphia, blogs at and tweets at theurbanvegan.

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