Roasted Beet Risotto w/ Goat Cheese Gouda and Arugula Pesto

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4 large beets, rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 ears of sweet corn or 1 cup frozen corn
1 cup sungold tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. cut in half
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 cups arugula, blanched, cooled and drained
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup goat cheese gouda or aged parmesan cheese, plus 1 T for garnish
2 oz soft goat cheese
2 T extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 cup for pesto
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine, room temperature
8 cups vegetable stock
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut off top and tail of beets. Put on sheet of tinfoil. Drizzle 1 T of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold tinfoil together to make a tent. Put on a baking sheet and roast for up to 1 hour or until beets are fork tender. Remove from oven and once cooled down enough to handle, peel and dice.
Add blanched arugula, toasted walnuts, 1 T chopped garlic, lemon juice to food processor. Blend for about thirty seconds, while slowly adding in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature until serving.
Using a large pot, bring vegetable stock to a simmer. If available, cut corn kernels from cob. Add cobs to vegetable stock. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 T olive oil. Add onions and saute 5-7 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent. Add remaining garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add arborio rice, cook 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick. Add wine, stirring constantly until wine is absorbed.  Add one ladle of vegetable  stock, constantly stirring until liquid is absorbed. Add corn kernels, tomatoes and beets to rice and continue adding stock one ladle at a time, while stirring for approximately 15-20 minutes longer. Rice is done when it is rich and creamy but still with some bite to it. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of shredded goat cheese gouda. Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Top with arugula pesto and garnish with soft goat cheese and remaining gouda.

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