Roasted Red Beet Risotto with Pan Seared Salmon

Red Beet Risotto with Pan Seared Salmon

I have been anxiously waiting through the record-heat months of September and October 2012 to cook with some of my favorite Fall ingredients, such as kale, butternut squash, pumpkin, and beets.

I was recently inspired by a dish created by our kitchen team at The Pacific Club using beets in a way I had never used them before: in risotto.

I had never even thought to put the two ingredients together before - but it was striking to look at. The chef used the beet risotto as a compliment to pan-seared salmon; the little red "pearls" of arborio rice stood out beautifully against the orange flesh of the salmon, and just when I thought it was just a pretty dish to look at, I took a bite. The balance of  the flavor of the beets with the rice and the salmon was perfect. I asked chef the basics of how he made his risotto, and he said he folded in roasted beet puree during the final stages before plating.

I knew this was one of the next foodie things I was going to try.


2-3 small red beets, roasted and peeled
2 T butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 C arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
1/2 C white wine
3-4 C chicken stock or broth, heated in a separate pot
salt and pepper
**grated Parmesan cheese optional

(Roasted Beets: Pre-heat oven to 375F; place beets in a baking dish with peel still on and toss with a little olive oil; cover with foil and roast for 30-40 mins or until tender; allow to cool before handling.)

Carefully remove the peel of the beet from the beet away

Peeled Beet
Heat a mediums sized sauce pan over medium heat and melt butter; add shallots and sweat for about 5-7 minutes, to soften the shallots.

Meanwhile, add cooled beets to a food processor; puree the beets until completely smooth; season with a little salt and pepper.

Lucy, my kitchen Sous Chef for the evening
Once shallots are soft; add the garlic and stir for about a minute to cook the garlic.

Add the arborio rice to the pan and bring the heat to medium-high; stir the rice for about 2 minutes, slightly toasting the rice with the shallots and garlic.

Add white wine; bring to a boil and cook until there is no more wine in the pan, constantly stirring.

Begin adding hot chicken broth to the rice, a few ladles at a time, enough to cover the rice, and continue to stir over medium to medium low heat, allowing the rice to absorb all of the liquid before adding another stage of liquid to the rice.

Once the rice has absorbed the broth, begin adding another few ladles to the rice (enough to cover) and continue process over again, a total of 3-4 times, until rice is al dente/soft, and appears to be creamy.

Season salmon with salt and pepper; heat olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat and sear in the pan for about 5-7 minutes; turn salmon and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

While salmon is either cooking or resting, add beet puree to the rice and stir together thoroughly.

Season with salt and pepper and add grated Parmesan cheese (if desired).

And plate!

Cheers and enjoy!