The purist might thumb her nose at using a pressure cooker to make this variation of the Italian classic. But who has hours to make it the old fashioned way, especially for a weeknight dinner? Making risotto is one of the best applications around for a pressure cooker. But, before you begin, be sure to read all the instructions that came with your cooker and follow the safety precautions.
Pressure Cooker Asparagus Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 and 3/4 cups vegetable stock (canned is fine)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 or 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 pound thin, fresh asparagus, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/2 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling at the table.
1. Wash the asparagus well in plain water. Hold each stalk at the base and at the tip and bend gently. It should break near the bottom. Discard the bottom part of the vegetable. It will be tough.
2. Over low heat saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent (10-15 minutes). Add the rice and stir until it is coated and translucent around the edges. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant (1 or 2 minutes).
3. Add the stock and orange juice and seal the cooker with its lid. Raise the heat to medium and set the pressure valve for 10 pounds. When the valve begins to rock, cook the risotto for seven more minutes before removing from the heat and allowing the pressure to dissipate.
4. When you can open the cooker without burning yourself, add the asparagus and thyme. Stir quickly and replace the top. Allow the risotto to sit for about five more minutes before transferring to a serving bowl and stirring in the cheese.
5. Pass more parmesan and a pepper mill with the risotto. Taste before salting since the cheese and the broth can be very salty.