Hello Rootabaga Subscribers,
Welcome to another exciting week of produce! Even though we’re getting ready for Seaside Christmas this weekend at Uprooted, I’m still dreaming about fall flavours and produce selections. This week’s Rootabaga subscription is inspired by a new recipe for an old favourite – Risotto!
But first let’s have a look at what’s in your bag this week,
The small subscription contains:
Red Beets – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Kale – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Yukon Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Cauliflower – Basinview Farm, conventionally grown
Garlic – Doneda Farm, organically grown (not certified)
Rainbow Carrots – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Clapp Pears – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally grown
The large subscription has everything above plus:
Brussel sprouts – Taproot Farm, certified-organic
(And more potatoes and pears!)
Recently I was flipping through a cookbook on loan from the Halifax Public Library, Canadian Living: Essential Mediterranean Flavours, and came across a recipe that combined two of my favourite things, beets and risotto. I knew I had to add it to my weekly meal plan and it was delicious! Here’s the recipe and a few tweaks I made along the way:
- 4 small-medium beets
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine - I used Jost L’Acadie Pinot Grigio, it’s my go to for risotto, but you can also substitute more vegetable broth and an additional teaspoon of lemon juice
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (for a dairy free option substitute ½ cup nutritional yeast)
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chopped beet greens and stems - I love that this recipe uses the whole beet and it would be perfect for summer beets when the greens are fresh. However, this time of year I substituted the beet greens for Swiss Chard, a more seasonal local green.
- Wrap each beet in foil; bake in a 400 degree fahrenheit oven until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool enough to handle. Peel and dice each beet.
- While the beets are cooling, bring broth and 1 ½ cups water to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice; cook, stirring to coat and toast grains, about 1 minute. Pour in wine; cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
- Add broth mixture, ½ cup (or 1 large ladle full) at a time, stirring after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 18 minutes total. (Rice should be loose and creamy yet still slightly firm in center). Stir in beets, ½ cup of the parmesan (or all the nutritional yeast) and salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.
- While risotto is cooking, in a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook the beet greens and stem pieces or the swiss chard, stirring occasionally until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top risotto with beet greens and remaining Parmesan.
While this would make a filling dinner on its own, I added a block of Acadiana Extra-Firm Tofu to make it extra hardy. If you’ve never had tofu before, or you have and found it bland, it’s all about the way you cook it! Tofu is a great addition to risotto because it soaks up all the flavour from the vegetable broth and wine as it cooks. First, gently squeeze some of the extra moisture out of the block of tofu with your hands (or wrap it in a tea towel and place it under a heavy pot for a few minutes). Then all you have to do is cut the tofu into cubes and add it to the skillet with your first addition of vegetable broth. The tofu will break up some from all the stirring but not to worry.
After you’ve made the risotto you’ll still have some beets leftover from your share, either you’ll want to make the beet risotto again because it was so good, or consider roasting the beets with some cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. Just dice everything up, add it to a roasting pan, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake it covered in a 375 degree oven for 1-1.5 hours or until the beets and carrots are soft. Whole garlic cloves roast so nicely! Leave the skins on and the cloves almost steam in the oven so that you’re left with warm soft pockets of garlic goodness.
Lastly, I’ll definitely be enjoying the Clapp pears in my Speerville Steel Cut Scottish Oatmeal for breakfasts this week. Steel cut oats take longer to cook, but they have a really nice chewy, not mushy, texture and they’re extra nutritious. A simple trick is to bring your oats to a rolling boil the night before, give them a stir, then turn it off the heat and leave the lid on the pot until morning. Your oats will absorb all the liquid and cook overnight. In the morning you only need to heat them up for a couple minutes on the stove. I use a 3:1 ratio of water to oats. Make sure you add a dash of salt and whatever spices you’re craving. Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, star-anise, nutmeg, or ginger all work well. You can add the pear at night or in the morning, nuts, nut butters, or seeds are great additions too. To serve I’ll add a dollop of Ranchers Acres Goat Yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup on top.
I hope everyone enjoys getting creative with their fall inspired Rootabaga subscription this week.
It’s going to be an exciting weekend with all the local businesses and artisans showcasing their talents for Seaside Christmas!
See you there,
PS If you know anyone who would be interested in joining our subscription you can send them here for more information!