I’m in love with how the tangy, velvety goat cheese melds with sweet, earthy beets. Finished off with a big sprinkle of fresh thyme adds a little mintiness and a lot of pep. This is healthy, cravable, vegetarian comfort food at its very best.
Beets are one of nature’s most amazing natural dyes, which is what gives this risotto its stunning garnet color. If you haven’t cooked with them before, though, beware: beets can stain your cutting boards, your hands, and your clothes.
A few practical ways to keep the beet-staining to a minimum: use a plastic cutting board rather than wood so the dye doesn’t soak in too much, and wash it in hot water immediately after cutting. Same goes for your hands – rinse them after handling the beets. You’ll want to give your fingernails an extra scrub when you’re done too.
And a full-coverage apron is definitely our friend for this recipe. Please, please don’t wear your favorite shirt. Don’t even wear your seventh-favorite shirt. You can get all dressed up for dinner after the beets have been cooked into submission.
Want to get dinner ready ahead of time? There’s an easy secret for getting risotto on the table in just a few minutes: undercook the rice and cool it quickly. For this recipe, I suggest removing it from heat after the first 10-minute cook. Spread it out in a thin layer to cool, then store in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, return the risotto the skillet and continue cooking per the rest of the directions.
And don’t throw out those beet greens – they make a wonderful addition to raw salads or simply sauteed with a little garlic!
Beetroot Risotto with Goat Cheese & Thyme
- 1 lb. beets peeled
- 2 T. butter
- 1 cup arborio rice or jasmine rice
- 2 shallots minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock divided
- 6 oz. goat cheese divided
- 2 T. fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. freshly cracked pepper
- Roughly chop the peeled beets and add to a food processor. Pulse until finely grated, with no large pieces remaining.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add uncooked rice. Stir & scrape for several minutes to toast the rice, until it turns golden with nutty aroma.
- Add shallots & garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in grated beetroot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Pour red wine and 1 1/2 cups broth over the risotto. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir once, then cover again and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in remaining 1 cup broth. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until liquid is mostly absorbed and risotto is creamy.
- Remove skillet from heat. Stir in 4 oz. goat cheese, thyme, salt, & pepper.
- Garnish with an generous crumble of goat cheese & thyme and serve hot.