Beets are versatile in the kitchen, from dip to soup, chips to pickles there are many things you can cook with them. Moreover, when you buy them fresh with their leaves and stems on it, you can make a different meal from each part. The leaves and stems are super delicious by sautéing them with some onion and olive oil. You can even pickle the stems with garlic, salt and vinegar. It’s a delicious meze, and also great on the salads.
When it comes to beetroots, you can be very creative, it gives a great colour and enjoyable sweetness to the dishes. Today, we’ll be creative and make a pink rice pilaf with beetroots. This is a recipe to look at the world through rose coloured glasses.
Pink Rice Pilaf
- 2 medium size beetroots
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1.5 cups of 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 them into cubes. Place them in food processors to make a puree.
- Cut the shallots in small dices and sauté them with a tablespoon of butter in a medium size saucepan. Once the shallots look translucent, 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.
Wine Pairing: Pinot Meunier
Pinot Meunier is a variety that we know as the third grape variety used in Champagne sparkling wine blends for its fruitiness and roundness. Some red and rosé still wines are also made successfully with it. To create a harmony with the pink rice pilaf, I paired it with a homemade red still wine from Pinot Meunier made with grapes grown locally in Nova Scotia.
The bright fuchsia color of the wine is mesmerizing. Actually, this color inspired me 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. For the aromas red fruits are playing the lead; raspberries, sweet cherries and lingonberries. On the palate, it’s dry, with a pronounced acidity and low alcohol. Fruity and fresh would be two words to describe this wine.
Pinot Meunier and pink rice pilaf pairing will speak to you visually before conquering your palate with its richness. If you are enjoying colorful dishes and nice presentations on your plate, this pairing will be great for you.
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