Another busy after work evening, requiring another quick dinner…and this time I vowed to use up that asparagus from last night. I decided on another family favourite – risotto from the pressure cooker.
I can see all the risotto purist shaking their heads, but this is truly a delicious and quick risotto for a busy night, when I’m too tired to stand at the stove ladling broth into the pan.
It’s based on a recipe from the little cookbook that came with my Breville Express Cooker many years ago. Those who are old enough to remember will recall Gabriel Gate’s advertisements for the cooker. Breville insisted it WASN’T a pressure cooker (probably because so many people were terrified of them exploding!), but it really was just an electric pressure cooker.
Over the years it’s saved me hours and hours in bean, chickpea and risotto cooking. They don’t make them anymore, and my pan is almost worn out, so I suppose that after about 15 years, I’ve probably got my money’s worth out of it. But I’ll keep using it until it dies.
The recipe in the book is actually for Lemon and Parmesan Risotto, and it’s supposed to serve 4, but my son would easily eat the lot in one sitting, so I add more and push the pot to its limits.
I really just use the rice cooking part of the recipe, but increase the volumes. I add whatever vegies I think would be nice. And this is tonight’s risotto.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 bunches asparagus, chopped
- 3 small leeks, finely sliced
- 3 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3 big handfuls of baby spinach
- 3/4 cup grated BioCheese (I don’t normally add this, but I had it sitting in the fridge, so I thought I’d try it out)
- 1 cup of diced pumpkin
- 1/3 cup of pine nuts
- pepper and salt
- lemon juice
Heat the cooker to maximum heat and add the olive oil.
Toss in the leeks and garlic, and saute until soft.
Add the rice and stir to coat with oil.
Add the stock.
Put the lid on the cooker and when it reaches pressure, turn down to low heat and set the timer for 10 minutes.
While that’s cooking, steam the pumpkin and toast the pinenuts.
Putting it all together
When the risotto’s time is up, turn the cooker off and wait for the pressure to release (about 5 minutes).
When it’s safe to take of the lid, stir the asparagus and spinach through the rice. Then put the lid back on for 5-10 minutes. This is long enough for it to cook the vegies.
Remove the lid, stir through some BioCheese, add pepper and salt to taste, and the juice of half a lemon.
Serve into bowls and top with the pumpkin and pinenuts – and more pepper, if you like.
Of course, if half your family aren’t pumpkin-haters, you could have added pumpkin to the cooker when you added asparagus. Unfortunately, I’m not in that happy situation!
It’s nice to serve it with a simple green salad, but it’s cold and dark outside and I can’t be bothered going to the garden to pick salad leaves, so we’ll just do without this time. (I seem to do this a lot as the end of the week draws near and I’m getting tired!)