Sunday, March 20, 2011

eat; beetroot risotto cakes served with a blood orange salad

A few weeks ago, we invited some girl friends around to have a girly night of watching Mad Men Season 3. What to cook for dinner?!?! I had some beets and blood oranges so decided to cook up this amazing dish! It isn't vegan but I do think it will work without the egg and you can replace the goats cheese with a vegan yoghurt.

Beetroot (beets for all ye Americans!) might have to be one of my favourite vegies but I'm not really a fan of risotto. I came across this recipe and the thing that captivated my imagination was turning the risotto into little cakes of magenta heaven! And heaven it is! 

I've tweeked the recipe a little and served it with an amazing salad using the leaves of the beetroots adding blood oranges for more amazing colour (you can use normal oranges if you don't have access to blood oranges).

What you need;
2 cups arborio rice
6-8 cups vegie stock
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped continental parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 small beetroots
4 sprigs rosemary, plus extra
Goats cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Blood Orange Salad
leaves from the beetroots
3 blood oranges
1/4 red onion
splash of balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Start by roasting the beetroots in a water bath. To do this, wash and then chop the tail and stalks off the beets and add 1/2 cup of water to your baking dish. Add the beetroot to the pan and the rosemary twigs.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about half an hour at 180C (375F). Check at the 30 minute mark using a knife to pierce the beetroot. If it goes in easily, they are ready. Cook a little longer if need be. Once done, discard the rosemary and let the beetroots cool enough so you can peel them. Peeling is easy as the skin rubs off. Once peeled, add to a food processor and whiz away until pureed. You can freeze it at this stage for later use if you like.

To make the risotto, heat the olive oil in a pot and then add the arborio rice. Lightly toast the rice on a medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. 

Add 1 cup at a time of the stock, stirring constantly, allowing the liquid to be totally absorbed before adding the next cup. Continue this process until the rice is cooked (check by biting into a rice grain and seeing if the center is cooked)

Once cooked, add the beetroot puree, a good splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and continue until the risotto is on the drier side.

Set the risotto aside and let cool. Once cool, add the chopped parsley and beaten eggs. Mix well.

You're now ready to make the risotto cakes.

Use your hands to create the balls at any size you like. Not too big though. I used about a heaped tablespoon for each. Roll them around in the palm of your hands into a ball and then gently press down. I was making them as I went rather than have a line up waiting. It's all up to you.

Shallow fry with olive oil on a med heat, cooking on each side for about 2 minutes, or lightly golden in colour. 

To arrange, I stacked the cakes one on top of each other. Before placing the second cake, crumb some goats cheese on top of the first one, then gently stack the second. Again, crumb some goats cheese on top and sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary. I added a little sprig for decoration.

Blood Orange Salad.
Juice one blood orange and pour into a glass. Add olive oil so that the amount of oil is even to the amount of orange juice. Add a small splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Mix and set aside.

Shred the beetroot leaves going across the leaves into about 1cm strips. Peel the remaining two oranges with a sharp knife, making sure you cut away the white parts. Cut the oranges in half and begin to slice into thin pieces. Shave the onion as thin as possible. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and arrange on a plate. With a teaspoon, drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Voila! A yummy and 5 star looking dinner!!!! 

Buon Appetito!

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