Peonies and Beet Risotto

You can tell I’m my mother‘s daughter because of my ability to mishear words.

I was about five years old at the time and spring had finally arrived in Michigan. Along with the warm weather, we loved seeing the flowers erupting in our yard. (It was always a very proud day when I got to bring my teachers snowballs and lilacs I picked myself.)

However, I didn’t always know what things were called.

That day, I found flowers on our side steps. Naturally, I yelled for my mom that someone had left us a present.

And, in the loud voice that only a five year old has, I bellowed…

“Mom, someone left panties on our doorstep! They’re such pretty panties!!! Panties, mom, panties!!!”

I kept yelling that so the entire neighborhood could hear, or at least until my mother could rush down the stairs to see what was actually on the step.

Peonies. Not panties.

Peonies have been known as “panties” ever since.

Spring’s Arrival Beet and Asparagus Risotto

Beet and Asparagus Risottoone can also not mess up this name


  • 1 beet, roasted, cooled, and diced (you can find plenty of beet recipes online- much of the cooking temp will depend on what kind of beet you have and how big it is! feel free to make more than one for salads and sides!)
  • 1lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces, and roasted (throw this into the oven with the beet, topped with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper- you can normally do both at 400 degrees, but the asparagus needs far less time than the beet!)
  • 4 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 1 c white wine
  • 2 oz goat cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Roast any vegetables, if necessary (it’s easy to do this part ahead- just make more of them to use in other dishes!)
  2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the white wine. Stir every minute or so until the wine is absorbed. (You want the rice to be at a simmer.)
  6. Start adding in the chicken broth, 1 c at a time, and let the rice absorb the chicken broth, while stirring fairly often.
  7. Continue adding the broth one cup at a time until you have used up all the broth (again, keeping the rice at a simmer the entire time), making sure that you let the rice absorb nearly all the broth before adding the next cup.
  8. Once all the broth has been added, cook for an additional few minutes at a very low heat until the rice reaches your desired consistency (you’re looking for a creamy al dente).
  9. Turn off the heat. Stir in the parmesan and goat cheeses until melted.
  10. Stir in the beets and asparagus until the whole dish is a pretty pink color.
  11. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

51 thoughts on “Peonies and Beet Risotto

  1. Peonies are my favorite flower! I used to call them panties too. Perhaps that is why I love them so, the humor behind it. Honestly, all other things pink are evil lol.

  2. Good, funny story. I love peonies. We had eight peony bushes in our yard growing up. Unfortunately I never called them panties. There are a lot of vowels in the word so that alone would cause the pronunciation difficulty.

  3. I’ve never had arborio rice. Or roasted beets, for that matter.

    How is arborio rice different that other rice?

    And I’d thought they might be pansies, too, instead of peonies 😉

  4. Hehehehe… that’s so hilarious!! 😛 😛 I like Peonies too and the panties part just made me laugh so hard.. But I swear the risotto looks so pretty, color is simply awesome to welcome spring-summer.. Yay! Thanks for sharing..

  5. Thanks for becoming my first follower! This is all new to me and very exciting…I hope you enjoy the posts that I have planned for the rest of this week 🙂

    P.s. This story brought a smile to my face. My aunt was reminiscing yesterday about how I always used to say proudly “I kicked the cat, I kicked the cat” when I was very young and got told off…I had to mime that I hadn’t KICKED the cat, I’d KISSED the cat! Thankfully I’ve learned to pronounce my S’s!

  6. You can’t hear and I can’t read. Here I thought this was a beef and asparagus risotto. Risotto. Still something I have yet to try!

  7. Oh, that’s too funny! Totally made my day! Thanks for following my blog. I’m new at this blogging thing, so I have a lot to learn. I had risotto when I was in Italy, but never made any myself. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Congratulations!!!
    You won one of the gift packs on Beary Good Stuff! Can you please email your snail mail address to info (@) and I send it off to you!

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