pretty in pink

My friend, Brad has a pink cell phone. He is an adult and, yes, he is heterosexual. He claims the phone was a gift from his older brother (also an adult heterosexual). He also claims that it is predominantly silver with pink as the accent, but he is fooling only himself..... it's really frickin' pink. Brad is one of those people who just shouldn't bother owning a cell at all. If it isn't locked up in his glove compartment for days on end and he actually happens to be carrying it on his person..... more than likely it will be switched off. Leaving a message would be futile, as he checks his voice mail so rarely that a message left today would probably not be retrieved until well after Easter, if ever.

I had invited him over for dinner last night, wanting to cook him a belated birthday meal. But what to make? Something pink, perhaps? After all, teasing those I care about is pretty much my reason for living, next to feeding them. Then I thought of it.....Brad's birthday menu would be Pink Risotto.

Pink Risotto (with Green Peas, Mushrooms & Kale)

The ‘pink’ part of this dish comes from using beet water as the cooking liquid (as opposed to regular water or stock). Beet water is simply what is left in the pot after boiling beets. I make a habit of saving this deeply coloured liquid and it always ends up coming in handy for something. Note that it also makes a nice (and colourful) vegetable stock. As for the quantity of liquid in this dish, it really is a ‘wait and see’ measure, as is the cooking time.

2 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, small dice
10 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cups thinly sliced kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ cups arborio rice
1 tsp salt

4 cups beet water (approximate)

1 ½ cups frozen green peas
zest of 1 lemon
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (+ extra for garnish)
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley (+ extra for garnish)

Place a large heavy pot over medium heat and wait 2 minutes. Add olive oil, and then the onions. Sweat the onions until they start to become translucent, for about 5 minutes. Next add the mushrooms, stirring occasionally until they are mostly cooked. Add the kale and then the garlic, continuing to cook for about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir constantly, allowing the rice to lightly toast, but not stick to the pot and burn. Add the salt and about 2 cups of the beet water. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to low / medium. Stir the rice occasionally, topping up the liquid as needed. Continue doing so until the rice is almost cooked (al dente). Add the peas, zest and lemon juice. Cook a few more minutes, still topping up the liquid as needed (if you run out of beet water, just use regular water). Lastly, add the butter, parmesan cheese and parsley. Combine. Taste, adding more salt if needed. Serve into bowls and garnish with more parmesan and parsley. Serves 4.


Cameron said...

Thanks again Diane for making dinner for me on my Birthday. The Pink Risotto was delicious.

I am very happy that my pink car-phone could inspire you to such culinary success.

Please feel free to use any of my many other idiosyncrasies as inspiration for future recipes.

I am simply honored to be associated with the Pink Risotto.

Cheers, Brad

(It really is more silver than pink.)

diane thompson said...

Thanks for being such a good sport, Brad.