Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Full Sun Farm 9th Week!

What's in the Box:

Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Beets, topped
Summer Squash
Green Onions
Cherry Tomatoes

The picture really doesn't do justice to the tomatoes - the first pint from the farm! - they are gorgeous and absolutely delicious. Our Sungold cherry tomatoes from our own vines are also ripe - the ones G calls "chocolate 'matos" because they are so sweet. He pulls them down and eats them by the handful and I think he has eaten more than his dad and I combined! He is really taking after me here: Tomatoes are truly my favorite seasonal offering - I gorge myself on them during the summer and shun them for the rest of the year.

Beets were the most abundant offering from the farm this week so it seems fitting to offer a recipe for Beet Risotto. It is from Almost Vegetarian and described as "brilliant in color with a sweet burst of beet in every bite." I think it will make a perfect lunch on Saturday!

2 medium beets, topped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup arborio rice
2 tbsp raspberry or lemon vinegar
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt cheese

1. Put beets and bay leaf in a saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, over medium heat, until the beets are cooked through, about 40 minutes.

2. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon, then strain the cooking water and discard the bay leaf. Pour the cooking water back into the saucepan. Slip the skins off the beets.

3. Chop 1 of the beets and set aside. In a food processor puree the other beet and stir into the strained broth. Cover the broth and keep it at a gentle simmer over low heat.
(The portion of the recipe above--the beet broth--can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and used as a base for things other than the risotto that follows.)

4. In another large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and orange zest, and saute over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped beet, and stir well. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the seasonings and is glistening, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the vinegar and stir until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.

6. Using a ladle, add about 1 cup hot broth. Stir constantly over medium heat until the broth has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of broth and keep stirring until it has been absorbed.

7. Continue the process, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring in this way until the kernels are plump and no longer chalk white in the center. This should take 25-30 minutes altogether. the rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind, and there are pools of broth on the surface. It is done when the liquid had been absorbed, and the kernels are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.

8. When the risotto is done, stir in the sugar, cream or yogurt cheese, and stir well to blend. Serve at once.


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