The Key to a Successful Valentine's Day Dinner | Features | PBS Food
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For the Love of Food: The Key to a Successful Valentine’s Day


Beet Risotto with Winter Vegetables

The roasted beets give this dish a pretty bright hue that makes this dish extra special and very Valentine’s Day appropriate. Food blogger Katie Barszcz of Small Boston Kitchen shares this recipe as a Valentine’s Day idea.



  • 4-5 parsnips, roughly chopped into equal sizes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 large beet, scrubbed clean
  • 1 small bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup Arboro rice
  • Water for boiling and to add to the risotto
  • 1 lemon, zested and juice reserved
  • 2 TBS goat cheese
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh parsley


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out the parsnips and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Entirely wrap the beet in foil or parchment paper and place it on the baking sheet with the parsnips.
  3. Roast the vegetables until the parsnips start to brown and are very soft and the beet shows no resistance when pierced. (Note: the parsnips will be done first so just remove them and set them aside while you continue to roast the beet).
  4. Once the beet is done, set it aside to cool and using paper towels to avoid staining your hands, gently pull off the skin, dice the beet's flesh and set it aside.
  5. In a large skillet, wilt the spinach and then shock it in ice water to preserve its color. Chop the spinach and set it aside.
  6. In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring water a boil. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and coat the pan with a light layer of olive oil.
  7. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and sweat them for a couple minutes until they become translucent.
  8. Add the Arborio rice and heat for a minute or so, stirring to warm the rice. Gradually add a ladle full of the boiling water to the rice and stir until most of the water is absorbed. Continue to add more boiling water once it gets absorbed while stirring frequently.
  9. Once the rice is almost cooked through, add the beets and stir to release their juices and to color the risotto.
  10. Next, add the goat cheese, lemon zest and enough lemon juice to give the risotto a light lemon flavor.
  11. Add the parsnips and fresh tomatoes, season to taste and add the spinach right before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley.

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