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Food and Drink, Recipes

Rice + Pressure cooker = Weeknight Dinner


Spinach Risotto with Feta (aka Saucy Green Rice)

Spinach Risotto with Feta (aka Saucy Green Rice)

So pressure cookers. They’re for making things that take forever to cook a bit faster, right? Well yes, but that’s not their only trick. What if I told you that they could make short work even short dinners? Would you be intrigued? Would you want to know more.

Sure you would. Otherwise you wouldn’t still be reading, now would you?

For some reason risotto can be made simple and comparatively hands-free experience through the employment of a pressure cooker. Really. Not being scientifically inclined, I can’t really divulge what the magic is because I simply don’t know why, but the higher PSI created in pressure cooking somehow speeds up the process involved in getting the starches out of your rice and into your flavourful liquid.

Here’s the good part: its a 20 minute meal (give or take, depending on your prep, etc), and you barely have to stir it.

Here’s the better part: as with regular risotto, you can doctor it up in a thousand different ways so as to make it toddler-proof. For example: to us grown-ups it’s Spinach Risotto with Toasted Walnuts and Feta. To a two year old, it’s simply Green Saucy Rice. Got beets, not spinach? OK. Now it’s Purple Saucy Rice. And so on and so forth.

Basic Pressure Cooker Risotto

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry vermouth or white wine
4 cups chicken or veg stock
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon

  1. In pressure cooker, add oil and butter. Heat on medium until butter is melted.
  2. Add shallot and a fat pinch of each salt and pepper to season. Saute until translucent (~3 mins).
  3. Add rice and stir to coat in butter and to toast lightly (~2 mins).
  4. Add vermouth and stir occasionally until absorbed by rice.
  5. Add stock and lid. Bring to boil and pressure cook for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and move pot to sink. Spray cold water on one side of the pot to speed cool-down.
  7. Once pressure has dissipated, remove lid and check liquid level. If still ‘soupy’ then return the pot to cooktop and reduce over medium flame until oozy.
  8. Remove from heat and add Parmesan and lemon juice. Let rest for a few minutes.
  9. Taste for flavour and re-season if desired. (This is also when you would add your flavourants if desired– mushrooms and sage, pureed spinach, steeped saffron, whatever).
  10. Serve and enjoy, noting how much you didn’t sweat in making dinner this evening.
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