Inspite of all the discussion going on in this respect: on Sundays and Holidays shops are closed here in Austria. So for last weekend all the food shopping had to be done on Friday - Saturday was Ephiphany Day and therefore a Holiday. And I had not really planned anything special, just casual dining for the three of us - Herbert, Jana and me. But we had not yet met part of the family during the Holiday Season due to a bad flu which raged among them, so it was not before Saturday that we we sponteously invited them to come over for dinner on Sunday. Upps, quite a challenge - make a festive more course dinner for 7 from supplies you have shopped for easy going 3. But as all of you know lots of things tend to hide in the freezer, not to speak about the fridge. But in order to be able to focus on all available fresh ingredients on Sunday I whipped up a little risotto for the three of us on Saturday evening - using up some frozen and finely diced baked beetroot. Remember those spectacular beetroot gnocchi back in November ? Some more readily prepared beetroot was sleeping in the freezer for another batch of those delicious gnocchi, but nevertheless risotto was my choice on Saturday. I seem to be one of the few who really like beetroot, for me its earthy sweetness is enticing enough to use it as often as possible. In my country it is mostly combined with horseradish, but I personally adore it married with citrus flavours, especially orange juice and zest. And some gorgonzola was desperately waiting to be used up. So why not whip up this little dish before cooking up a storm on Sunday ?
Beetroot, Orange and Gorgonzola Risotto
own creation; serves 4 for a light meal or 6 as a starter;
- 8-10 handful risotto rice (for example Vialone nano fino)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2-3 shallots, finely diced
- 1 tsp rosemary, very finely diced
- fresh juice of a small orange
- approx. 500 ml home-made chicken/vegetable broth
- approx. 200 ml oven-baked and peeled beetroot, very finely diced (baking the beetroot instead of cooking intensifies the flavour enermously !)
- 1 tsp finely ground orange zest (I also keep some orange zest mixed up with caster sugar in my freezer)
- approx. 200 g gorgonzola, roughly cubed
- salt, freshly coarsed pepper to taste
- Add the rosemary after the shallot have softened and do not forget to add a pinch of salt to preserve the green colour of the herb.
- Instead of wine use the orange juice to deglace the rice.
- Add beetroot and orange zest a few minutes after the risotto has started to bubble.
- Instead of parmegiano stir in gorgonzola at the end of the cooking time.
Very delicious and definitely a keeper. Life is full of surprises, especially when you whip up something (almost) out of nothing.