Here’s another great way to use those beautiful and nutritious beet greens. Serve with a side of beets. I tend to shy away from precise cooking times on this dish. Times can vary depending on the brand of rice and type of broth you’re using. If you’re new to making risotto, please visit this helpful site to make sure you cook the perfect dish http://lifehacker.com/5890864/use-the-smear-test-for-perfectly-cooked-risotto
Chef’s tip: Homemade broth is best but if you do not have access to a quality, flavorful broth you can add fresh oregano and/or basil to help kick the dish up a notch.
Prepare all of the following risotto ingredients. Grate 1 cup of cheese. Finely mince your shallot and set aside. Smash and chop your garlic cloves and set aside. Chop up your beet greens and set aside.
For your vegetable broth, place in a separate stock pot and heat to a medium temperature. This is a key step and remember to always keep your broth at the same temperature that you cook your rice.
In a large saute pan (preferably something with a thick bottom so you don’t burn the rice) heat your butter and olive oil on medium/low heat. Using a really good quality butter will make a huge difference in how your risotto tastes (in my personal opinion) so stick with a good pasture butter like Kerrygold, Organic Valley or some nice homemade butter from your local farm.
Add your rice and minced shallots and cook (stirring frequently) until the rice is transparent and very lightly toasted. This should take around 3-4 minutes.
Now we add the wine and chopped garlic and red peppers. Gently stir the rice, wine and garlic until the wine is well absorbed by the rice.
At this point, we begin adding the broth. TWO ladles at a time. Add two ladles of broth and STIR your risotto constantly until the broth has been absorbed. Once that happens, you can add two more ladles of broth and repeat. Risotto is made by adding broth slowly over a period of time. Adding too much liquid at one time can make your risotto turn out runny and that's something Gordon Ramsey yells at people for. Yikes!
Now here’s the tricky part. Just because we have 8 cups of broth in that separate pan does not mean you’ll always use up the entire pot of broth. It’s always good to have a little too much broth leftover than not enough broth when you’re cooking this dish. Good judgement comes into play at this stage. As you’re stirring (you didn’t forget the part about stirring constantly right?) give your risotto a little taste. How close is it to being al dente? What the heck does al dente mean? This is where we use the smear test. (visit the lifehacker link provided above)
When your rice is CLOSE to al dente, add your chopped beet greens and continue to stir. It should take a few more minutes until you're close to being done.
Once your rice is AL DENTE, remove from the heat and add your cheese. Stirring well until all of the cheese has melted and is incorporated into the dish. Add salt and pepper to taste The final product should look creamy and firm but not runny. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your vinaigrette (recipe above) and set aside.
Wash the beets thoroughly and leave the skins on. Remove the beet tops (greens) and rinse well.
Place the unpeeled beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and bake fore 45-60 minutes until beets are fork tender. Once done, rinse under cold water and peel. Cut beets into quarters and set aside.
For the greens, remove any large chunky stems (I usually chop about 2-3 inches from the base and discard) Cut remaining greens into two inch slices.
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil, shallots and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute then add your greens and cook until wilted. Add your chopped beets and stir - drizzle 1 Tbsp of vinaigrette over the top (or more if you're feeling saucy) serve immediately and enjoy!
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
In a small bowl whisk together mustard, honey and vinegar. While whisking, slowly add your olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Chop your asparagus into 1" pieces, removing the woody ends. Clean and slice your leeks. Set aside.
Add the macaroni to 6 quarts of boiling salted water (about 3 tablespoons of sea salt) and cook just below the recommended time on the instructions to your pasta. We want it to be on the verge of al dente since your pasta will continue to be cooked in the oven. Generally allow 1 minute below the recommended cook time. Drain and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the milk on low. Do not allow to boil.
In a saute pan on medium heat, add the bacon. Render the fat and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. You should have around 2 tablespoons of bacon fat left over depending on the quality of your bacon. If it seems a little short, add a little extra butter later to make up for it AFTER the next step. If it seems like you have too much, just pour some of the fat off.
Add the sliced leak and cook in the bacon fat for around 5 minutes on medium heat. Once your leek has cooked down, add your butter and whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming.
Add the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large baking pan, add pasta, cheese sauce and asparagus and mix together. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheese. Place in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and top with cooked bacon. Serve and enjoy!
Remove leaves and cut cauliflower stem flush with the head so it can stay upright in a pie dish. Drizzle olive oil over head and sprinkle salt. pepper and smoked paprika over the florets.
Roast in the oven until tender. Appx 1 hour.
Remove from oven and serve with cheese sauce. (Recipe below)
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form. Do not boil!
Meanwhile, melt your butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add your flour, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms. (2-3 minutes)
Slowly add the milk to the flour paste, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens for about 5 minutes.
Add your rosemary, garlic and cheese, whisking constantly until it is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with your roasted cauliflower!