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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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red beet risotto

I do believe that beets are my very favorite spring vegetable. They are quickly overshadowed by tomatoes in Summer, but in May and June I could eat beets every other day. Typically I am a fan of simply roasting the globes and tossing them on a salad with chevre and a light vinaigrette. But every now and then, when I am feeling the need for something a bit more toothy and substantial I'll whip up a batch of risotto. I love the sweetness that roasted beets lend to the savory dish, and of course the vibrant hue that even a picky toddler wouldn't be able to resist.

I"ll admit...I've already written about red beet risotto here, years ago, when we were growing beets in our very own garden. The recipe has changed a bit, and the photographs have certainly improved, but I still love that first post because of its words about our little veggie patch. We're still growing beets this year, although out on Maple Hill Farm rather than just to the side of our house. And this recipe is still a favorite, one that I felt was appropriate to bring up again now that we're at the height of beet season here in Charlottesville. Plus, I just couldn't resist the urge to re-photograph the dish in all of its neon-pink glory, in proper lighting, with less distraction. It deserves to be the star of the show!

These days, I'm adding the beet greens directly to the risotto, rather than cooking them up on the side. They don't add much flavor to the dish, but I do like the additional texture and all of the nutrients packed into the deep green leaves. Thanks to the New York Times for that little suggestion.

Red Beet Risotto

from the new york times

serves 4 as a main course


  • 3/4 pound beets (1 small bunch of 3 to 4)
  • 1 bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed (from your beets, if fresh and unwilted. leave them out if they are past their prime)
  • 6 to 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock, as needed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. First, roast the beets. Preheat your oven to 400°. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the beets are easily pierced with a fork.  Remove from oven and allow to cool, then peel and dice the beets.  The skin should slide off easily.
  2. Slice the greens into 1-inch strips, set aside.
  3. Place the stock in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.
  4. In a large, wide, heavy-bottom saute pan, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and stir while cooking until it starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and the garlic and stir while cooking until the rice is separate and starting to crackle, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the wine has just about evaporated, add in 1 ladleful of stock (about 1/2 cup) just to cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly (adjust heat). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock is nearly absorbed, then add another ladleful. Continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, stirring often and adding more stock when the rice is dry, for about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the diced beets and sliced greens. Add more stock and continue cooking as before, for another 10-15 minutes, adding stock when the rice is dry. The rice should be tender but not mushy, with no hardness at the middle. When it has reached the correct consistency, season with salt + pepper. Add the parmesan cheese and the parsley, and stir to combine. The rice should be creamy, if it is not, add another 1/2 cup of stock.
  7. Adjust seasonings and serve.

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References (9)

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    Wonderful Webpage, Continue the wonderful job. Thanks a lot.
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    bella eats - sharing food + photography from charlottesville va - red beet risotto
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    Response: here.
    bella eats - sharing food + photography from charlottesville va - red beet risotto
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    bella eats - sharing food + photography from charlottesville va - red beet risotto
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    Response: stocks
    bella eats - sharing food + photography from charlottesville va - red beet risotto
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    Hello…..I am a vegetarian. And I always think of preparing something new of the limited stuck. I found your red beet risotto amazing. Thank you so much to share the recipe with all. I am blogger, writes on Indian restaurant Toronto; I would like to research more on this and publish ...
  • Response
    I have never come across risotto with red beet root. U made my day with this recipe, which really helped me to learn something new and authentic dish. All the ingredients used in it are simple and easily available in any kitchen. It's a pleasure visiting your site.
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Reader Comments (11)

Wow. Stunning! Lovely photography and a nice recipe too.

I love your photos - the bright colors and the simplicity ... I'm marking the recipe too, although I'm not a beet root fan, but your risotto look so yummy that I'll give the beetroot another chance

07.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBorislava

The color alone sold me on this one! So glad I picked up a bunch of beets at the Farmer's Market yesterday =)

07.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

This looks lovely; the color is so delightful and I'm sure it tastes delicious too!

07.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBAKERBYNATURE

That's so funny. I made beet risotto last night and it was the first photo on Foodgawker today. I like mine with feta crumbled on top. The colour contrast looks great, too. We're having leftovers for lunch which means we'll pee pink tomorrow - true!

07.3.2011 | Unregistered Commenteremma

I just came across your striking photo on foodgawker and am so pleased to have discovered your site. What beautiful photography and what a fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing!

@Nicole @Borislava @Peggy @BakerByNature @Emma @ Rivki : Thank you for your sweet comments! I hope you'll all try it out. :)

07.4.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

Wow! this dish looks wonderful. I love the vibrant colour. I love risotto too - will definitely have to give this one a try :)

07.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa

Thanks for this red beet risotto recipe. It sounds (and looks) wonderful.

07.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTelebrands

Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I tried it out today and it turned out magical. Thanks again!

08.29.2012 | Unregistered CommenterS

love the color in your beet risotto! I'm definitely going to have to try this one!

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