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Beet Risotto topped with Fish or Chicken Filet & Lemon Beurre Blanc

4-6 small red beets
Zest from 1/2 orange
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock, simmering
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
8 fish or chicken  filets
Lemon beurre blanc
Minced parsley

Wrap the beets, zest and bay in aluminum foil and roast in a 400-degree oven until beets are tender – about 1 hour. Slip beets from skins and chop into ½” cubes. Mix the beets with  2 tablespoons of the white wine, add salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté shallot in butter and olive oil until translucent.  Add the rice and stir to coat – sauté until opaque. Add the remaining white wine and cook over low to medium heat until absorbed. Add the chicken stock one ladle-full at a time and cook until almost absorbed. Continue to add stock as needed, the rice will be creamy and aldente the broth will have been used up –this process will take an additional 10 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste, stir in the beet cubes and the lemon zest. Top with sautéed fish or chicken filets and spoon lemon beurre blanc around the edges.  Top with minced parsley.

Fish or Chicken Filets:
4-6 thin chicken cutlets or tilapia filets
1/2 cup flour
Salt & pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons butter and 2 T olive oil
Mix flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. Dredge filets in flour and sauté in butter and olive oil until golden. Keep warm on a platter.

Lemon Beurre Blanc:
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice plus additional for finishing
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Salt & pepper
6 ounces butter, chilled

Boil the wine, juice and shallots salt & pepper until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Whisk in 2 tablespoons chilled butter at a time over low heat until creamy and ivory-colored. Season again, with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Simple Beet Salad with Onions

Grate scrubbed beets or cut into julienne strips;

Toss with chopped green onions and a vinaigrette (homemade or purchased).

Add toasted pine nuts or walnuts. and a little cheese such as crumbled blue or feta.

Serve alone or over a bed of greens.

Beet and Arugula Salad

3 medium beets
1 bunch of arugula
1 T white wine vinegar
¼ c olive oil

Peel beets and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. In a steamer set over boiling water steam beets until tender, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Discard course stems from arugula. Wash arugula well and dry. In a bowl whisk together vinegar and salt and pepper to taste and whisk in oil until emulsified. Pour half of vinaigrette over beets and toss well. To vinaigrette remaining in bowl add arugula and toss well. Arrange arugula and beets on 2 plates. Serves 2.

Gourmet, March 1997

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