If you haven’t made risotto in the pressure cooker, then you are missing out. Risotto is fairly labor intensive if you do it on the stovetop – involves a lot of time and stirring. I’m not opposed to labor in the kitchen, but recipes that tie me down to a spot are the ones that I’m most likely to blow. But risotto is a whole different world in the pressure cooker. You basically add everything to the cooker, bring to high pressure for six minutes and it’s done. If you have an electric pressure cooker with a risotto setting, then it’s even easier – push a button and all the work is done for you. I love this recipe for butternut squash risotto – it is very simple, traditional, and delicious.
This recipe for butternut squash risotto with balsamic vinegar is one of my very favorite risottos. It is great on it’s own, but it also makes a great base recipe to take in different directions. If I want to add protein to the risotto, I prepare my chicken, sausage or pancetta (my favorite) ahead of time and add in to the finished risotto at the end. This is a great way to use up leftovers.
In spring when the asparagus is tender, I love to add some thin spears at the end with the cheese and butter. Close the lid for three minutes after the pressure is off and the asparagus will be crisp tender when you open up to serve.
You can also mess around with the cheese – parmesan and asiago are always safe bets, but you can play around with blue cheese or even swiss.
This recipe is even easier if you have pureed squash or pumpkin in your freezer. But, if you don’t have a freezer full of squash like I do, I include directions for pressure cooking your butternut squash. Still pretty darn easy. And it’s always a good trick to be able to cook a squash in minutes.
- 1 small butternut squash – or 1 cup of butternut squash puree
- 4 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil – garlic flavored is awesome, if you have it
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic (not necessary if using garlic flavored EVOO)
- 1 T chopped fresh sage
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 c dry white wine
- 1 T unsalted butter
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
- For garnish:
- high quality balsamic vinegar
- If using a whole butternut squash, cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Place in pressure cooker (on a rack, if you have one) with 1 1/2 cups of water (or the minimum amount of water necessary to bring your cooker to pressure) and bring to high pressure for 6 minutes. Release pressure naturally and poke the squash with a fork through the skin – if the fork pushes through with no resistance, the squash is done. Scoop squash out of skin and puree in a blender or using a stick blender until it is smooth. Reserve 1 cup of puree for this recipe and freeze remaining puree for future use – it will also keep in the fridge about 5 days.
- Heat olive oil in the bottom of a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat – or in an electric cooker set to brown or sauté. Add shallots and sautée until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic cloves (if using) and chopped sage and sauté another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add Arborio rice and stir until rice grains are coated in oil and the tips start to turn transparent – about 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir until the wine has been absorbed. Add chicken broth and squash and stir. Close and lock lid of pressure cooker. Set pressure cooker to high and cook for 6 minutes on high. If your electric pressure cooker has a risotto setting – use it. Release pressure using a quick release method. Open lid, add butter salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of cheese, stir and replace lid for 3 minutes. The risotto will seem a bit wet – don’t worry. Remove lid after 3 minutes, stir again and check your consistency. The rice should be creamy and al dente.
- Serve in bowls and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with remaining cheese.