Risotto with Beet, Dried Cherry and Red Wine


5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
generous 1-3/8 cups dried sour cherries or dried cranberries
1 cup fruity red wine, such as Valpolicella
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
generous 1-5/8 cups risotto rice
4 cooked fresh beet, diced
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
salt and pepper
generous 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)


  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Place the sour cherries in a pan with the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil, Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  5. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.
  6. Halfway through the risotto cooking time, remove the cherries from the wine with a slotted spoon and add to the risotto with the beet and half the wine. Continue adding the stock and the remaining wine.
  7. Stir in the dill and chives and season, if necessary. Serve with the Parmesan, if you like.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Risotto