Alexander Donowitz, who's been a vegetarian for all of his six years, combined two of his favorite ingredients—beets ("because red is my favorite color") and cheddar cheese—to create this super-creamy, vibrant risotto. "I think I'm the only kid in my class who eats beets," he says.
More Risotto Recipes
1 medium beet, peeled and quartered
2 cups loosely packed beet greens, stems trimmed
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
Place the beet in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the beet greens and pulse until finely chopped.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and vegetable broth to a simmer. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the beets and beet greens and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth to the large saucepan, 1 cup at a time, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, 20 minutes. Add the cheddar; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until the risotto is creamy and thick, 3 minutes longer. Serve in deep bowls, passing the Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.
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