Beetroot has been my favourite veggie lately. What I love the most about them is their versatility, from dip to soup, chips to pickles there are many things I make from the root of the beet. Moreover, when I buy them fresh with their leaves and stems on it, I separate them and make a different meal from each part. The leaves are super delicious by sautéing them with some onion and olive oil. When I have time, I even fill them with rice and roll like “sarma”. The stems are also great for sautéing, but I prefer to boil and pickle them with garlic, salt and vinegar. It’s a delicious meze, and also great on the salads. When it comes to roots, you can be very creative. I used to boil them in the past, but now I am taking a step forward and try new recipes. One of these new to me recipe is the pink rice pilaf with boiled beetroots.
Pink Rice Pilaf
A recipe to look at the world through rose-coloured glasses
- 2 medium size beetroots
- 1 cup rice (I used baldo, but you can use any long grain rice)
- 1.5 cups of water (boiling water of beetroots)
- 2 shallots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt & pepper
- Boil the beetroots until they are tender, check with a knife to be sure if they are cooked. Separate the boiling water for cooking the rice. Cool down the beetroots. Peel them and cut into cubes. Place them in food processors to make a puree.
- Cut the shallots in small dices and sauté them with a table spoon of butter in a medium size sauce pan. Once the shallots look translucid, add the rice and move them for a while on medium heat to make them crispy.
- Add the boiling water of beets and some salt . Close the lid of the pan, once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes if there is enough water. (If not add some hot water to avoid burning the bottom of the rice.)
- Once the rice is cooked, keep the lid closed for at least 20 minutes to make it steam with its own heat.
To create a harmony on the plate with the wine, I paired this dish with a homemade wine from Pinot Meunier. Pinot Meunier is a variety that we know as the third grape variety used in Champagne blends for its fruitiness and roundness, but some red and rosé wines are also made successfully with it.
In this case, this wine was made by a home winemaker with the grapes grown locally in Nova Scotia. The bright fuchsia color of the wine definitely mesmerized me upon pour. It gives me joy. Actually it was the color of this wine that made me inspired to cook this dish. Considered as red wine, it has a light color, but considered as rosé wine a dark color. It’s just on the limit it could fall into both sides. Soon after, the aromas came to my nose, simple fruits were playing the lead; raspberries, sweet cherries and lingonberries. In the palate, it is dry, with a pronounced acidity and low alcohol. Fruity and fresh would be two words to describe this wine.
This pairing speaks to all my senses, starting visually. If you are enjoying colorful dishes and nice looking presentations on your plate, this pairing will be great for you!
All images © 2020 by Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.