I can't think of any other task in the kitchen that is more soothing than stirring a pot of risotto. Kneading bread may come close, but there's something about the repetition of stirring and stirring for twenty minutes that calms my frayed nerves on these crazy Mondays.
It's hypnotic. The grains of rice and bright green bits of leek swirl around and around. A mesmerizing kaleidoscope. My old, stained wooden spoon traces a path which is quickly covered over and then retraced. The dense, hard, and dry rice slowly releases its starch, swells, becomes creamy. The nutty smell of toasted rice and evaporated wine. Intoxicating.
I needed Risotto this evening.
My son's school is just around the corner from a charming little Natural Market which smells divine.
(What is that natural food stores aroma? A combination of the fresh, earthy vegetables still covered with organic soil and the sultry concentration of essential oils tucked back in the corner with the incense and Tibetan purses? Whatever it is, I wish they'd bottle it and sell it in the check out lane.)
I feel very lucky that this shop is here. There's is always a treasure to be had inside. Today, after dropping C off, I found these lovely organic golden beets. I picked up some organic chicken sausage as well, and my meal plan began to come together.
Yes, it was definitely a Risotto Monday. I'm very much looking forward to Spring Break when I will pack up the kids and head off on some adventures. I promise to return with fun stories and amusing pictures. Until then I'll soothe myself with a little Andrea Bocelli, a cool glass of Chardonnay, and my Roasted Beet and Chicken Sausage Risotto.
Roasted Beet and Chicken Sausage Risotto
1 lb organic Chicken sausage
3 medium beets
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1 leek - cleaned well and chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C). Clean the beets well and peel them with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets into quarters or eighths (depending on size). Place them on a baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread them around and nestle the chicken sausage around them. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes until the beets are tender and the chicken sausage is cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the risotto. Heat the stock in a sauce pan on low heat. In a medium skillet heat the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the cleaned leeks and a pinch of salt and pepper, and sauté for 2 -3 minutes. Add the rice and sauté 3 minutes longer until the rice is slightly translucent. Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed by the rice. Now add a couple ladlefuls of stock and stir frequently (if not constantly) until most of the stock is absorbed. When the pan starts to become dry, add more stock, stirring almost constantly. Continue until you've added all the stock. With the last addition of stock, add the thyme and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
When all the stock is nearly absorbed and the rice is creamy and soft remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve topped with the roasted beets and chicken sausage.
shared with: allergy free wednesdays, real food wednesday, allergy friendly friday, fight back friday, full plate thursday, monday mania, melt in your mouth monday, family fresh meals