Zinfandel Risotto with Roasted Beets and Walnuts


Zinfandel Risotto with Roasted Beets and Walnuts

Total Time: 2 Hours


  • 1 pound baby or large red beets (about 3 lbs. if buying with greens)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 2 cups Zinfandel or other fruity red wine 
  • 1 qt. reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 2 cups Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or Arborio rice*
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Trim any beet greens (save for another use) and wash beets. Put beets in a baking pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil. Cover with foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool until cool enough to handle, then peel and cut into 1/2-in. wedges.
  2. Meanwhile, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast on another rack of oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely and set aside.
  3. Bring wine and broth to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice and cook until just beginning to stick to bottom of pan, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup wine mixture and cook, stirring, until liquid is almost absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup wine mixture and cook the same way. Continue adding wine mixture 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next, until all of it has been used and rice is almost tender to the bite, about 20 minutes. (Use hot water if you run out of wine.)
  5. Remove pan from heat and add butter, nutmeg, 1/2 cup cheese, and the beets. Stir quickly, cover, and let sit 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the toasted walnuts.