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from Erin Evenson - Brooklyn, NY
Add the Manischewitz borscht to a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat until it has just reached a boil. Reduce heat to very low so that the borscht is just barely simmering.
While the borscht is heating, place the toasted pistachios and 1/2 cup of the fresh basil (reserving the 6 whole leaves for garnish) into the bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture by pulsing 6 or 8 times or until the mixture has combined and become the texture of very coarse sand. Run the processor and drizzle in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil while the processor is running (reserving the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil for use later in the recipe) and process until the oil has emulsified into the basil and pistachio mixture. Taste the pesto and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and leave at room temperature until ready to serve.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan and place the pan over medium heat on your stovetop. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the diced red onion and a pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté the onions until they are translucent and have released their liquid, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add all of the rice to the onions and stir the rice so that it becomes coated with the oil. Sauté the rice for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Using a heat-resistant measuring cup, measure out 1/2 cup of the barely simmering borscht and carefully add it to the rice mixture. Stir the rice and borscht until the rice has absorbed the borscht, about 2 minutes. Continue to add the barely simmering borscht in this manner in 3/4 cup increments until all of the borscht has been used and the rice is creamy and tender, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Remove the rice from the heat and add the butter and half of the crumbled kosher garlic and herb goat cheese and beat until the butter and cheese have fully incorporated in the risotto. Taste and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
To serve, immediately divide the risotto amongst 6 shallow bowls. Using a large spoon, evenly divide and swirl the pistachio-basil pesto into risotto in your desired pattern, evenly dividing the pesto amongst the 6 servings. Sprinkle the remaining goat cheese evenly amongst the 6 servings. Retrieve the reserved 6 fresh basil leaves, slice the leaves into very thin ribbons and top each with a sprinkle of the fresh basil ribbons. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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