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Asparagus Pressure Cooker Risotto
Asparagus is nature’s welcome mat to spring vegetables.  They’re nutty, greeny, nutritions and require very little prep.

Personally, my family adores the wild asparagus but it’s very hard to come by.  We don’t have a good foraging spot and by the time I see the Italian ladies gingerly stepping out of an abandoned field, pinching their sweater closed with one hand and clutching a half-full plastic bag  in the other, that area has been picked clean.

I managed to plant some wild asparagus on my balcony only to be thwarted by my six-year-old daughter.   When Ada skips through the window chewing with glee it means that she just popped tender shoot into her mouth.

So no fancy-schmancy wild asparagus pressure cooker risotto recipe. I just went to my veggie store and got a bunch of “regular” asparagus.  Should you get a couple of handfuls of wild shoots, they can be used in this recipe as well.

The pressure cooker can work its magic on any veggie – wild or not!

How to make a Micro Stock

Micro stock of asparagus stems to be used in a risotto recipe.
Micro stock of asparagus stems to be used in a risotto recipe.

“Micro” refers to the small just-enough-for-the recipe quantity of stock and not that other cooking implement that starts with the word “micro”.  Micro stocks are fast, because you’ll making less than the usual “full pot” so  it requires  fewer ingredients and the time to pressure is reduced, too.

Micro stocks are useful if you don’t have a particular stock on-hand, if you didn’t have time to make it ahead-of time, storage of large quantities of stock are an issue or to take advantage of an ingredient you don’t happen to get a hold of very often and it would be great to use right now.

A micro stock can be made with just one ingredient or many  if you wanted to toss in extra spices (like black pepper corn) or a chicken wing… go!  After making the micro stock strain some, all or none of the ingredients. In this particular recipe, I make the micro stock using only the asparagus stems, and then go on to use the ingredient in my recipe.

To make a micro stock add the ingredient(s) you want to flavor the cooking liquid with into the pressure cooker along with the same amount of liquid the recipe requires.  Then pressure cook 10 minutes for anything veggie, 30 for any meat and bone whacked into 1″ (2.5cm) pieces.  The pressure cooker can be opened with Normal or Natural Release (depending on how much time you have).

Get the micro stock going first, and prep for the rest of the recipe while it’s pressure cooking away.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger none 6 min. High(2) Normal
5.0 from 2 reviews
Asparagus Spring Risotto - pressure cooker recipe
 
Author: 
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: serves 4
  • Serving size: ¼th (about 1½ cups)
  • Calories: 425.7
  • TOTAL Fat: 7g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 79.6g
  • Sugar Carbs: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 1,165.6mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4.1g
  • Protein: 9.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
You can use green, white or wild asparagus for this recipe. Contrary to the belief that "thinner is better" (when it comes to asparagus spears) choose somewhat thicker asparagus so that the tips can hold-up to the pressure cooking.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound (500g) asparagus
  • 4 cups (1L) water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups (400g) arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lemon wedge, squeezed (about ½ teaspoon of juice)
  • garnish: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Trim the asparagus by removing the woody stems and discarding them. Then slice the stems in small rondelles. Slice away the tips whole, and put aside.
  2. To the pressure cooker add the asparagus stems and water.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 10 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve.
  6. Pour the contents of the pressure cooker (asparagus stock and stems) in a heat-safe measuring cup and measure 4 cups (1L) with a little extra (about ¼ or 60ml). This is your micro stock.
  7. In the heated pressure cooker base add the onion and olive oil and swish everything around until the onions have begun to soften.
  8. Add the rice and coat with the oil and onions (the rice will become slightly translucent), and then keep stirring until the kernels start drying and turning white again, about 2 minutes.
  9. Splash in the wine and stir until all of the wine has evaporated.
  10. Add the asparagus micro stock, asparagus tips and salt and mix everything gently scraping the base of the pressure cooker to ensure nothing is stuck there.
  11. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  12. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 6 minutes pressure cooking time.
  13. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve.
  14. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and mix well.
  15. Serve with a swirl of your best extra-virgin olive oil.
Remove the woody stem and discard, chop the stem in rondelles and reserve the tips to use in the risotto.
Remove the woody stem and discard, chop the stem in rondelles and reserve the tips to use in the risotto.

pressure cooker asparagus risottoSpring Asparagus Risotto - pressure cooker recipe!

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6 Comments

  1. I want to make this today and I’m confused. When the micro stock is finished (using the touch asparagus stem ends), the recipe says pour the finished stock and asparagus in a 4-cup measuring cup. Wouldn’t you discard the now cooked (and now flavorless) stems and use only the asparagus-flavored micro stock? I’m thinking the only actual asparagus you want in the risotto would be the asparagus tips.

    Also do you ever add a bit of parmesan to the finished risotto?

    Thanks.

    1. The remaining stems are not completely devoid of flavor. We just squeeze most of the flavor out into the liquid so the rice has a chance to absorb it during the risotto-making process. Think of this as also a method of pre-cooking the harder tougher stem that needs more time to cook so they can be ready at the same time as the risotto and spears – using any juice from the process to make the risotto. : )

      Ciao,

      L

  2. Dear Laura,

    My wife and I loved this recipe. So creamy and delicious!
    One thing concerns me: are you sure that 1/4 recipe is a serving and is 230 calories? The calorie count seems low to me.

    1. Mike, thanks for pointing this out. I re-checked the recipe using Spark Recipes Nutrition Calculator (https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp) and I received a completely different result! I have updated the nutritional info of the recipe – according to the new calculations each serving is 425 calories, instead.

      Apologies for the error, and thanks again for pointing it out!!

      Ciao,

      L

  3. Revisiting the asparagus risotto recipe…
    Instructions say to “Trim the asparagus by removing the woody stems and discarding them.” Since the asparagus rondelles used to make the micro stock will be used in the actual risotto, it makes sense to discard the woody stems as they’re not easy to chew and you wouldn’t want them in the risotto. And after making the stock, you wouldn’t want to have to pick out the woody stems from the rondelles in your stock. However if you were just making micro stock and discarding the veggies used to make the stock, there’s no reason one couldn’t use those woody stalks to make it. While woody stalks can’t be chewed, they would add asparagus flavor to a stock.

  4. 1cup of uncooked arborio rice has 600 calories. This recipe calls for two cups, so based on the rice alone 1/4 recipe would have 300 calories. That doesn’t include the oil or the vegetables. I’m not sure where Spark Recipes Nutrition Calculator is getting their numbers.

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