Monday, May 15, 2017

Pressure-Cooked Risotto with Artichoke and Asparagus (No Added Fat)

It's been, I think, almost 10 years since I've made risotto. We quite like risotto, and I make a "conference call risotto". I had the idea of making an artichoke and potato risotto and thought I'd see what the Instant Pot pressure cooker could do in terms of risotto. I readily found one of Laura Pazzaglia's many Hip Pressure Cooking recipes, Easy Pressure Cooker Risotto. Here is my version of it - the first time I've tried a no-oil risotto.

  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") minced
  • 3 medium crimini mushrooms cut into 1/2" cubes (1 cup)
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 or 2 T red or white wine (I used port)
  • 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) artichoke heart quarters
  • 1/4 cup chopped (1/4" squares) bell pepper
  • A bit less than 2 cups of water
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup asparagus cut into 1/2" lengths (about 4 thick stalks; it probably would take 6-8 regular thin stalks)
  • Medium baking potato cut into 3/8" cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  1. I put the onion and garlic into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on low saute for a minute or so, then added the mushrooms.
  2. I cooked for about 3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onion was clear and the mushroom cooked down a bit.
  3. I then added the rice and gently toasted it. Since I didn't use oil, the grains didn't absorb the oil and didn't really become translucent, but, stirring occasionally, I started seeing a bit of golden color in the grains after about 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. I then added the port, stirred, and let the wine clean up any residue on the bottom of the Instant Pot container.
  5. I added a cup of water then put the artichoke and bell pepper in the cup measure and filled the measure with water to total another cup, adding this water, artichoke, and bell pepper to the Instant Pot.
  6. I added the bouillon cube, asparagus, potato, salt, black pepper, and nutritional yeast.
  7. I pressure cooked for 5 minutes.
  8. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed the risotto.
I served along with some sautéed (in a cast iron pan with no added oil) seitan and bell pepper.

Wow, Laura Pazzaglia's recipe pointed me in the right direction! It is easy to make tasty and creamy risotto in the pressure cooker. My whole family loved the dish; it was filling, satisfying, and tasty. Even my daughter, who doesn't like asparagus, enjoyed the bit of asparagus in this dish (it must have been the taste in combination). The moisture was just about right - any less and there would be too much sticking to the pot (next time, I might err on the side of a just a bit more water).

Ideas for the future

I should consider trying risotto like this again soon after making my tried-and-true "conference call" version to better compare. Next time, including one more strongly flavored ingredient and a bit more water would be interesting. Grilled artichokes would be an improvement, and non-frozen (grilled or not) artichokes that I could cut into pieces would be good. Olives would be nice, as would more mushrooms (maybe oyster mushrooms or large chunks of Portobello mushrooms). Sweet potato (instead of potato) and/or some greens would be great. Roasting the bell pepper would be good. A little more wine (not port) would add a nice flavor. Fresh herbs or citrus zest would be good garnishes.

I have, unfortunately, never had a whole-grain risotto, but just looked and, indeed, there are recipes for it. I found an interesting article from the Washington Post from this past February that sounds promising. It's great that I can make a no-oil risotto; I should try a no-oil whole-grain one!

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