A Cheesy Beet Risotto That's *Almost* Too Pretty to Eat

Further proof that beets and goat cheese are a match made in heaven.

September 21, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio.

We've partnered with La Crema Winery to share the cool weather-ready dinner recipe we're making from now until next spring: a creamy beetroot risotto that tastes even better when paired up with a crisp, dry rosé.

I like to throw color-themed dinner parties. They’re like costume parties, but for the food—though I will say my guests are always encouraged to dress in any shade of the hue, should they so desire. The color, then, is a prompt not just for our outfits that night, but also for the menu.

When it comes to cooking for friends, I love giving myself a prompt like this. Sticking to one color is a creative exercise that helps me expand my pantry in ways I’d never think to do otherwise.

But not every color makes for a great dinner party or procession of courses. I’ve found that yellow parties are a little difficult, producing bland food—like summer squash anything (sorry, summer squash)—albeit fun, vibrant outfits. Brown parties are the easiest, because the tastiest dishes in the world are brown—hello, braised short ribs! creamy mushroom pasta! gooey chocolate cake!—though the clothes are totally drab.

Pink, however, is an all-around hit. So many delicious foods in the world are naturally pigmented shades of pink: cream-blushed beetroot, medium-rare steak, roasted radishes, quick-pickled red onions, and of course, rosé wine.

And seeing as I’ve just bought an adorable pink sweater and need to break it in, I’ll be hosting a pink party soon to celebrate my friends and the arrival of fall.

The star: my bright pink beetroot risotto with goat cheese.

You’ve probably seen the beets-and-goat-cheese combination many times before…in a salad. But the tastiest way to enjoy this classic duo is actually in a rich, aromatic risotto. I love the way the sharpness of the cheese offsets the deep, earthy sweetness of the beets. A quick snip of fresh chives on top adds freshness.

To go with your magenta risotto? A crisp, dry rosé. It helps, too, that you need a splash of this anyway to deglaze the pan as you’re stirring the rice into a dreamy dinner-party wonder.

Of course, you don't need to throw an all-pink party to whip up this risotto. It's just as delicious any old night of the week, when you're cooking for your family or no one but yourself. The flavors remind me of a comforting borscht, or that ubiquitous restaurant salad you may have had before. All I know is: This creamy, dreamy risotto tastes as beautiful as it looks.

What's your favorite risotto? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with La Crema Winery, makers of delicious wines produced in the cool-climate growing regions of California, we're sharing our new go-to fall risotto: a beetroot risotto with goat cheese and fresh chives sprinkled over top. Perfect for weeknight dinners and dinner parties alike, this bright-pink wonder pairs best—no surprise here—with La Crema's 2018 Monterey Pinot Noir Rosé. This crisp, vibrant rosé matches up perfectly with the risotto's creamy texture, while its notes of pink fruit and citrus play nicely with the earthy beets and tangy goat cheese.

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Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

1 Comment

Noreen F. September 21, 2019
While I've made a classic risotto Milanese for a holiday dinner, most often risotto is a quick weeknight dinner in our house, so aside from the onion (or leek, or shallot) and rice, the rest is subject to whatever's in the fridge that needs to be used up. This looks yummy, though, and I'm going to have to try it.

I love the color-themed dinner party idea, too, and may have to try that as well!