Risotto Variations

I’ve eaten more rice the last couple weeks than I usually do in a couple months. I’m just not a rice person. It’s fine as long as there’s some sloppy curry all over it, but I’m not usually in the mood for straight rice. Risotto, including brown rice risotto (!), has meant I’ve been eating it several days a week. It’s cheap and not actually absurdly caloric .. if we can resist adding a bunch of cheese. Here are some variations that we’ve been doing off the basic recipe I last posted.

Mark Bittman conveniently posted a squash and brown rice risotto article not too long after the last post. It turns out that making risotto with brown rice works pretty well. It’s still so tasty you have to stop yourself from overeating, but it’s not quite so rich as arborio. His recipe was the traditional method, over the stove, but I basically translated it to the pressure cooker methods by guessing. It worked out alright though I probably could have let it sit at pressure a couple more minutes. The water hadn’t quite absorbed and so I had to cook it down a bit on the stove after adding some wine. Poor me.

After making several variations, I can confidently state that this recipe is pretty forgiving. If you use too much water, you let it cook down. If you use too much squash, you have more creamy squashy sauce. If you use too much cheese … who am I kidding? Does that even happen?

The basic outline goes like this:

That’s the outline. It’s really forgiving. Pressure cookers are not as scary as you might think. Mine is a relatively cheap $30 (from the relatively expensive store Bed, Bath and Beyond) and has lasted me years with no trouble. Not only can you cook dried beans in it faster, you can cook fantastic risotto in it. Go forth and pressurize some rice and veg. You’ll be glad you did.