Roasted Beet and Carrot Risotto

4 small or 2 medium beets (about 2 cups, chopped)
2 carrots
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry wine (white or red), room temperature
3 1/2 to 4 cups vegetable broth, warmed
1 strong teaspoon dried marjoram
1 strong teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus more for the table
Salt and Pepper
1/8 cup mascarpone (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast beets and carrots: Rinse beets and wrap, individually, in tin foil; seal well. Peel carrots and roughly chop into 2-inch chunks. In a bowl, toss carrots with a little olive oil and a shot of balsamic vinegar (roughly a tablespoon and teaspoon, respectively); stir to coat. Wrap all carrots in one tin foil package. Roast beets and carrots until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The carrots will likely be done in 45 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven and allow to cool. (Can be done the day before. Leave vegetables in the tin foil until ready to use.)

When beets are cool, peel and roughly chop. In a food processor or blender, process beets and carrots with a little vegetable broth until nearly smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Saute onions and garlic in the butter until soft and fragrant. Add rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is also fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir for about a minute, until the rice begins to shed starch. Stir frequently until the wine is absorbed by the rice. Mix in about a cup of the beet-carrot puree, stirring well; add the herbs. Pour in the remaining beets and carrots and stir frquently, ensuring that the liquid is absorbed and the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Add a cup of vegetable broth and stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is done (not grainy). You may only need the four cups of broth. Once done, stir in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese; salt and pepper to taste. If you are using mascarpone, stir this in now as well.

Serve piping hot with additional Parmesan cheese.

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