Pickled Beet Risotto


The beet is like a gem to me,
Or an ornament on a Christmas tree.

I’d hang it up with loving care,
Or around my neck with delicious flair.

Ruby red it shines so bright.
Stains my fingers with every bite.

But I don’t mind the crimson mess,
Even on my bestest dress.

This menu makes for a beautiful and flavorful Fall dinner.  The combination of flavors meld perfectly. The risotto is tangy with vinegar, the lamb is smoky from the grill, and the carrots are sweetened with brown sugar.  You can always buy pickled beets at any any Mediterranean market but they won’t be like Ghada’s beets. Try her recipe below!

Pickled Beets – Recipe Courtesy of Ghada Zumout (sister-in-law extraordinaire and best beet pickler in the world!!)

Look! There’s cauliflower in there too.

3 bunches of beets ( cleaned, peeled and sliced thin)

4 cups white vinegar

1/4 cup sea salt dissolved in 2 cups water

5 cloves garlic (make a small cut in each of them)

1 jalapeño pepper

Add the salted water, the vinegar, and the garlic together and boil them in a stainless steel pot for 4 minutes then let cool down. Make a small cut in the jalapeño pepper and put it in the empty jar and then add the beets first and then try to place the garlic between them so they don’t rise to the top for better flavor during the pickling process, once you placed the beets and the garlic pour the brine in to cover everything. Close the jar very tightly and leave it out for a week or 10 days depending on the weather and then put it in the fridge. The warmer the weather the faster the process is finished.

Pickled Beet Risotto

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

5 T butter

3 T sugar

1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1 1/2 cups beet brine

3-4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat the vegetable or chicken stock and set aside.

In a saute pan, melt butter, add beet brine and sugar. Stir to combine and add rice. Cook on medium and gently stir the rice until the brine has almost been absorbed. Add one ladle-ful of stock and continue to stir. When the liquid has almost been absorbed, add another ladle-ful of stock. Continue this process until approximately 3 cups of stock have been used. Add the heavy cream. The rice should be “al dente” and creamy, not mushy. If the rice is too firm, add more stock until you reach the desired firmness. Taste for salt and serve immediately. Serves 6.