Spring is officially here. I love how the purple Lupine grow on the side of the freeway here in Southern California. All the trees are sprouting their baby leaves and colorful flowers are starting to bloom. And the weather is mostly, always “just right.” Except for this weekend, it’s been gloomy and rainy on and off.
With Spring arriving, I wanted to make a nice vegetarian side dish, or a meal in itself if you choose. A hearty risotto with lots of green spring vegetables. Of course, if you choose to spruce it up with some protein, you can definitely add chopped bacon, prosciutto or even some shrimp. Risotto is very temperamental and needs constant baby-sitting when you cook it over the stove. When you make it in the pressure cooker, it’s way easier but there are some tips that I recommend. I suggest avoiding the use of the Keep Warm function to keep your risotto warm and fresh. The longer the rice sits in the warming function, the more it starts to soak up all the liquid and begin to thicken and dry out. Depending on the vegetables used, they may also discolor in the keep warm function. It’s recommended to serve the risotto right away. Arborio rice is super absorbent and can double in size tremendously. Always keep an extra cup of stock or even wine handy to help moisten the rice right before serving.
So let’s get cooking.
First, we’re going to the cook the shallots and the rice.
3 Large Shallots; Chopped
3 Cups Aborio Rice
4-5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup White Wine + 2tbsp White Wine for shallots
1 Cup Frozen Peas
2 Cups Asparagus; chopped
2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Press the START button the pressure cooker to start the heating element for the browning function. Add a tablespoon of olive oil into the pot. Put the chopped shallots into the pot and sauté it for about 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the 2tbsp of white wine to it. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, then press the CANCEL button on the pressure cooker to turn it off.
There is no need to rinse or wash the rice. Simply put the rice into the main cooking pot of the pressure cooker with the shallots. Add the cup of wine and 4 cups of the stock to the rice. Give it a quick stir. Shut the lid and turn it to lock it into position. Set the pressure valve to Airtight.
Now you can either just press the Rice & Risotto button on your machine, or you can program it to cook for 10-minutes.
When the cooking cycle is complete, release all the pressure by turning the pressure valve to exhaust. Now the lid will turn and unlock. Allow the Keep Warm function to stay on for this part just for a few minutes. Check the consistency of the risotto. If it’s too sticky and dry, add more stock or wine and give it a good mix. The rice should be tender but still retain its shape. Add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the asparagus, frozen peas and spinach leaves. Fold them into the rice. Shut the lid and using the warm function to heat and cook all the vegetables. It will take approximately 3-5 minutes.
Open the lid and check on the veggies. Add the Parmesan cheese and chopped chives when it’s ready to serve. The longer it sits in the Keep Warm function, the more the risotto will start turning mushy. So I highly recommend serving it immediately.