This is reposted from early November -- I thought this risotto would be a colorful treat for you and your Valentine!
Yes. I know. I should be thinking about Thanksgiving. I should be making pies and side dishes and conjuring up wine pairings.
Especially since I'm hosting again this year.
But, in all honesty, I haven't thought too much about it yet. I have a sort of running list in my head, and it includes a spinach saag with olives and pine nuts, homemade low-sugar cranberry sauce, a crustless pumpkin pie and a gluten free cranberry apple cake...but besides that, I'm not so sure. My mom is bringing a salad and hopefully my dad will bring the same delightful Spanish wine he picked out last year, my mother-in-law will bring a stuffing and green bean casserole, and her twin sister a squash and apple dish. We will be having meat -- Andrew is going to cook a chicken thigh dish that he made last year that everyone approved of.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm super excited to host and love cooking for family and showing them a little something different. Last year I made a quinoa salad, and I think it was the first time some of my family had tried the lovely pseudo-grain. It's also nice to know that I'll be able to eat everything I make. I think, however, that I'll wait until the weekend to start experimenting with new vegetable dishes to have on the table next Thursday. I'm hoping to get inspired with some fresh produce from the farmers' market.
In the meantime, it's been dark and rainy on and off here lately, and I've been cooking up some comfort food. Beets, being a root vegetable are both in season and extremely grounding. Their extra bit of iron seems to be really helping me out with an extra boost of energy lately, and to them I am grateful. I also love how they color everything with the most vibrant red color. At a young age I discovered that I was allergic to certain food colorings, red being one of them. Now I'm a bit grateful that I could never have food coloring, since it's not the healthiest thing for one's body, but I still am delighted when I can add color to something so easily. And risotto soaks up their color so nicely, and the splash of red wine that goes into the beginning stages of the dish helps things quite nicely, too.
millet. Use what you have on hand to make the dish shine -- that's the best way to cook.
Also, as a side note: I used one of my favorite wines in this recipe: Avalon's 2009 (although 2007 is my favorite, just super hard to find and a bit pricey for cooking with) Cabernet from California. It's fantastic to cook with -- a little bit for the pot, a little bit for the cook, and some to share over dinner.
Blushing Red Risotto
- 2 tablespoons butter, + some for topping off individual dishes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup of red wine
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 4 cups water, warmed up in a tea kettle
- 5 medium sized beets, cleaned up and chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese + extra for topping off individual dishes
Now -- for a little inspiration -- what are you making for Thanksgiving? Or, if you were hosting, what do you wish you would make?