Roasted Alaska Beet & Side-Stripe Shrimp Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Chef Cole Bryan, Sack’s Cafe & Restaurant

Yields 4


2 large Matanuska Valley beets, roasted and puréed

4 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup canola oil

1 large yellow onion, finely diced

1 cup white wine

8-10 cups very lightly salted water or stock

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

(Optional) Freshly chopped herbs (chives, rosemary, thyme, etc)

1/2 cup chèvre (save for plating)  

Alaska Fiddlehead Ferns and Fresh Alaska Side-Stripe Shrimp

1/2 lb fresh Alaska fiddlehead ferns

1 lb peeled fresh Alaska side-stripe shrimp (known for its sweet flavor)

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 lb unsalted butter

Salt and pepper  

Matanuska Valley Carrot and Spring Onion Salad

4 cups ice water

3 large Matanuska Valley carrots

1 bunch spring onions (green onions)

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced  

Roasted Garlic and Dill Vinaigrette

1/2 cup roasted garlic

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp dried dill OR 1 1/2 Tbs chopped fresh dill

2 Tbs Dijon mustard

2 1/2 to 3 cups canola oil

Roasted Alaska Beet & Fresh Side-Stripe Shrimo Risotto

To make the risotto, bring about 2 1/2 quarts of water or stock in a large pot to a light bowl. In a Dutch oven or large pan, sauté the diced onions in 1/2 cup canola oil over medium heat until translucent. Add the Arborio rice to the pot and cook until slightly browned and it begins to give off a nutty aroma. Deglaze the pot with the white wine. Slowly add the boiling water or stock 1-2 cups at a time while stirring. Cook off most of the liquid before adding more stock or water. Repeat the process until rice is cooked but still firm. Turn heat to low and stir in beet purée, cream and Parmesan cheese until combined. Season the rice with salt, pepper and any additional herbs to taste.  

To make the fiddlehead ferns and shrimp, drop the fiddlehead ferns into boiling water for 15-20 seconds, then remove them from the water and place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. In a sauté pan melt two pats of butter over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and fiddlehead ferns and cook until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. In a small pot, melt the remaining butter and add the butter from the fiddleheads. Once the butter is gently bubbling add the side-stripe shrimp. Simmer the shrimp for 4-5 minutes until cooked. Remove the shrimp and lightly season salt and pepper.  

To make the carrot and onion salad, peel carrots and discard the skins. Take your peeler and take long strips off the carrots and place in ice water. Cut green onions at a 45-degree angle into thin strips and place into ice water as well. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables begin to curl. In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined. Strain the water from the carrots and onions and toss with the oil and lemon mixture.

To make the vinaigrette, place roasted garlic, chopped shallot, vinegar and Dijon into the food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. While the machine is on, slowly drizzle oil into the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the dill and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

First plate the risotto, followed by the fiddleheads and shrimp, and then the carrot and onion salad. Drizzle the vinaigrette, and sprinkle with chèvre before serving.