Classic Italian Risotto requires 30-45 minutes hands on time adding liquid, stirring constantly while the liquid is absorbed, then repeating until the rice is tender. This method requires patience, but results in an ethereal dish with a creamy texture that my Italian cookbooks assure me cannot be achieved any other way. I’m not particularly patient, especially when it comes to stirring a pan on the stove, and even if I was, I don’t have 30-45 minutes hands-on time to devote to one dish.
If you have a pressure cooker, (which is a wise investment for saving time in the kitchen) you can achieve the same wonderful results as the conventional method in minimal hands-on time. This recipe is versatile; any vegetables may be added, including leftovers. Spring Vegetable Risotto is a perfect spring dish to serve with Orange Glazed Lamb Chops, for a quick and easy gourmet meal.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1 cup arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh asparagus, the tough part snapped off, then cut into 1" lengths
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings, if any, removed
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the pressure cooker with the lid off. Add the onions and stir over medium-high heat until soft; mix in the rice and cook for one more minute. Turn the heat to high and add the wine; stir until it is mostly absorbed. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth, the salt, and pepper.
Cover the pressure cooker and lock according to the manufacturer's directions. Bring to high pressure, 15psi. When the pressure is reached, turn down the heat, making sure the cooker stays at 15psi. Cook for six minutes; if you live in a high altitude, add one additional minute of cooking. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to drop naturally.
Meanwhile, place the asparagus and sugar snap peas in a microwaveable container, cover with 1/4 cup water, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 5 minutes (vegetables will not be tender and will continue cooking when added to the risotto); drain, sprinkle with a little salt, and set aside.
When the pressure has dropped, remove the lid, add the additional 1/2 cup broth; stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, asparagus, sugar snap peas, and spinach. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 318 Calories from Fat 132
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 42% Protein 12% Carb. 41%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Cholesterol 16 mg
Sodium 1066 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 9 g
Vitamin A 31% Vitamin C 72% Calcium 0% Iron 16%