Beet and Strawberry Risotto

By Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

Serves 4-6


2 medium beets, whole (skin on)

Kosher salt

¾ cup sherry vinegar

3 ½ tablespoons honey

3 shallots, minced

3 cups hulled and coarsely chopped strawberries (just under 1 pound)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ small yellow onion, diced

1 ½ cups risotto rice, preferably carnaroli

1 cup dry white wine

1 ½ cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons crème fraiche


For the Beets:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Cover a small roasting pan (a cake pan will work) with kosher salt to a depth of about ¼ inch. Place the beets on the salt and roast them in the oven until a paring knife stuck into one of them encounters no resistance, at least 1 hour. Remove the beets from the oven, allow them to cool, then peel and dice them.

    For the Gastrique:

    Place the vinegar, honey, and shallots in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture reduces by three quarters, about 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool.

    Purée 2 cups of the strawberries in a blender, then set aside.

      For the Risotto:

      Place the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.

      Add the onion and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

      Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until it no longer appears chalky on the outside, about 3 minutes.

      Add the wine and simmer, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot with the spoon, until rice has absorbed most of the wine, about 5 minutes.

      Add the stock and simmer, stirring, until the stock has largely been absorbed, about 7 minutes more.

      Stir in the reserved gastrique and the strawberry purée. Continue simmering and stirring until the rice is fluffy but still firm to the taste, about 3 minutes more.

      Add the remaining 1 cup of strawberries and the beets.
      Stir in the butter and crème fraiche and serve immediately.