The last time (okay, the only time) I made risotto was more than ten years ago. I remember that it was extremely labor-intensive, requiring me to stand over the pot adding broth to the slow-cooking rice, stirring forever. The end result was less than great, and I never felt the need to try that again. However, I have been reading lots of comments on social media that the instant pot makes cooking risotto so much easier, taking out the need to stand over the pot. I figured it was worth a try.
For my flavor … I recently saw a cooking show with Gordon Ramsay, and he was using a delicata squash. I had never seen one before, so I was intrigued when I found one at my local market. Why not put the two together? Risotto with Delicata Squash sounded like it could be tasty! After researching a few methods on how to make the risotto in the pot, and what sort of spices might go with the squash, I was ready to give it a go.
- 3 tbsp salted butter
- 1 small cipollini onion chopped
- 3 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 small delicata squash
- 1/3 cup grana padano cheese grated (can also use parmesan)
- 1 sprig mint leaves chopped
- a few saffron threads
- salt & pepper to taste
- Instant Pot
- ceramic non-stick lined inner pot
- garlic press
- cheese grater
- food processor
- silicon spatula
- Prep your ingredients to make it easier to put this meal together.
- Dice the onions into small pieces, these will melt away, so don’t stress too much over them. Peel the squash, slice in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the squash into bite-sized pieces. I cut the halves into 1/2″ slices and then cut those down to size.
- Also grate the cheese. I used a fairly large grater, this will melt in so it doesn’t need to be grated fine. Note: grana padano is not the easiest cheese to find, feel free to swap for your favorite hard italian cheese like asiago, or parmesan.
- Now you are ready to start cooking! Turn your pot to sauté. In the inner pot, add the butter and chopped onions. Stirring occasionally, let the onions cook till they are softened and translucent, but not browned.Note: I have two inner pots, the stainless steel one it came with, and this ceramic coated non-stick one. I find this pot works better for rice, keeping it from sticking to the bottom and burning. If you don’t have one, no worries, just use what you hav
- Add the rice and minced garlic and stir to coat. Let that cook for another minute, stirring often.
- Add one cup of the broth and stir. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, rice will start to absorb the liquid.
- Add the squash, remaining 2 cups of broth, cheese, mint, and seasonings. Stir to mix. It will be soupy at this point, that’s what we want. Turn off the sauté mode.
- Put the lid on the pot, close the steam vent, and set the pot to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. At the end of that time, do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure manually. (If you get a burn warning, open the lid and give the rice a stir, then close it up and continue.)
- The rice may look wet when you open the lid, but give it a stir, gently scraping the bottom of the pot with a silicone spatula. Give it a taste, checking to see that the rice is cooked through. (If it’s still under-cooked you can close it up and let it sit to cook on warm for another few minutes.) Adjust seasoning as needed. I tend to add less salt at the beginning and a bit more at the end as needed.
- Transfer to a serving platter or small bowls, and top with chopped fresh mint. Risotto will be creamy, a bit cheesy, with some sweetness from the squash. And with so much less work than traditionally cooked risotto!