Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto

I love making risotto. There's something very comforting and rewarding about pouring your heart and soul (and arm strength) into a creamy dish that'll hug your soul (and hips). But I only love making risotto when I have a completely free evening and nothing on my mind except for cooking. Since I'm a Type A, go-getter Millennial who lives in NYC and wants to do everything, those kinds of evenings are few and far between. 

[If you don't want to read my ramblings and are more of a visual person, check out the recipe video here].

That is, until I fulfill my dream of moving into a (fancy) cottage in the (civilized) wilderness where I spend my days gardening and painting (activities that I currently know nothing about) and my evenings making elaborate meals from scratch. 

But in the meantime, I've found a way to enjoy making risotto that doesn't require standing by the stove and stirring constantly for 30 minutes. More on that below. 

And I received the most beautiful serving ware from Amara Living to showcase this delicious dish! 

 Look how gorgeous these porcelain swirl  bowls and plates  are! 

Look how gorgeous these porcelain swirl bowls and plates are! 

I am absolutely obsessed with the round wooden platter that I served my pumpkin tart on. The platter comes with two small dipping bowls, so it's perfect for serving bread with olive oil or dips. And the Michael Aram gold olive branch trivet and knives are so elegant and festive for the holidays. 

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I hope you enjoyed my gushing about this beautiful serving ware from Amara Living

And now back to the risotto: My secret to easy, quick risotto is a pressure cooker!  I know, you're probably thinking there's no way risotto made in a pressure cooker is as good as traditional risotto. And you're right: it's not. 

That's because it's better. Well, maybe, the taste is the same, but it's better because it's quicker and easier. 

I used an Instant Pot, which has a pressure cooker as one of its 7 functions, but you can use a traditional pressure cooker as well. 

When you unseal the pressure cooker, the risotto may appear a bit liquidy. Don't panic. Just give it a stir and you'll see the risotto start creaming together. 

This dish is comfort food at its finest. It's creamy and rich, it's savory yet a little sweet, and it doesn't skimp on flavor (or calories). And it would make the perfect main dish at your Thanksgiving table. Because, let's be honest, it's 2017, and nobody needs to kill a turkey in order to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal. 

risotto dinner spread with me - blue matte.jpg

Bon appétit! 

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Ingredients

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 2 pounds of cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 apple, cut into 4 chunks
  • 1 handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 handful of fresh sage sprigs
  • Salt + pepper 

Risotto

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine 

Miso Maple Butter

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • Heaping 1/2 tablespoon miso paste 

Cashew Parmesan Crumble  

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut butternut squash into 1-inch chunks. In a large bowl, toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, crushed garlic, apple slices, thyme sprigs, sage sprigs, and a large pinch of salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread squash onto 1-2 baking trays.
  3. Roast squash for about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking, until tender and browned. Discard thyme and sage sprigs.
  4. Reserve ¼ of the roasted butternut squash. Transfer remaining squash, apple, and garlic to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth and creamy. Set aside puréed squash mixture. 
  5. Meanwhile, make the risotto. Turn Instant Pot onto the "saute" function, or heat a traditional pressure cooker to medium high heat. Add the 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and heat until shimmering. Then add the minced onion and cook until translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes. 
  6. Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is evenly coated in oil and toasted but not yet browned. This should take 4-5 minutes and the rice will be translucent around the edges. 
  7. Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until the smell of alcohol has cooked off and the wine has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  8. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir to combine all ingredients. 

  9. Close the pressure cooker and cook high pressure on the Instant Pot for 5 minutes. Use the steam-release valve to depressurize your pressure cooker. 

  10. While the risotto is cooking, make the Cashew Parmesan Crumble. Combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil in a food processor and pulse repeatedly, until the mixture has a fine, crumbly texture, similar to grated parmesan.

  11. Then, make the Miso Maple Butter. In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter. Then add the miso and maple syrup and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

  12. Once the pressure cooker has depressurized, open and stir to combine the rice and cooking liquid. It may be appear more liquidy than risotto should be, but after some stirring, it will thicken and become creamy. If it doesn't thicken as much as you'd like, cook for a few minutes longer. 

  13. Stir the puréed squash into the risotto to combine thoroughly. Then stir in the Maple Miso Butter. Transfer to serving bowls and top with the Cashew Parmesan Crumble and reserved squash pieces.