Thursday, April 19, 2018

Weeknight Instant Pot Risotto with Peas, Lemon, and Parmesan

Weeknight Instant Pot Risotto with Peas, Lemon, and Parmesan

A bright side dish with peas and lemon, this creamy risotto cooks up quick and easy in the pressure cooker. The parmesan flavor goes well with pork, chicken, or seafood or as a springtime meatless main course.

photo of a meatless springtime main dish of pressure cooked risotto with peas and parmesan, accented with lemon

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As the weather turns warmer I crave lighter foods. When evenings are still cool, however, having a nice warm side dish makes for a cozy meal. This Spring Risotto from Kristy Bernardo's cookbook Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot is perfect for this time of year.

picture of Simon sniffing pea pods in the garden.

My spouse bought me an Instant Pot last summer, and I think it's a terrific tool to help me get a home-cooked meal on the table. I almost said "nutritious home-cooked meal" but if you've been here before (thanks for coming back!) you'll know my usual fare is nutritious home-cooked meals. I feel the IP is more than a gadget--the ease of making clear, beautiful chicken stock ahem chicken bone broth, dry beans to a meal in an hour, and easy to peel hard boiled eggs are big selling points--but it will not replace my rice cooker or my slow cooker. I don't think I'll ever throw dry spaghetti, sauce, and water into the IP. It's too easy to do on the stove top. Frozen meat? Maybe. We'll see.

close up photo of a bowl of creamy lemon risotto with peas and parmesan

I hear tell that making risotto on the stovetop is difficult. I've never made it at home, but at work I have not found that to be the case. Sure, making risotto traditionally involves a bunch of stirring, but how else am I going to get my steps in?
I took a class where I heard the sentiment 'multitasking is impossible'. I disagree. You may say I am "cooking", a single task, at work but what I'm going is monitoring one or two sauces/soups in different stages of preparation while timing pasta and plotting the uses of the shallots my hands are busy chopping. My mind is focused on multiple tasks and I call that multitasking. Back to risotto.
title image of easy weeknight risotto with peas, parmesan, and lemon

Since I like to provide seasonally appropriate recipes, when I got a copy of Kristy's book I started looking for ones using Spring vegetables. I think fresh peas, cut on the bias, would be terrific in this dish, but frozen worked just fine too. I plan to make this again when fresh peas cross my threshold, wherever that may be.

image of fresh farm share peas in their pod

A note to my regular readers:  I've not fallen off the face of the earth! My house is on the market, and between getting it all ready and especially keeping it all ready for showings, for inspectors, for appraisers, for radon determiners (that's a thing, right?) cooking has really taken a back seat. When you spend 45 minutes cleaning the top of the stove you're less likely to want to mess it up again just because the kids don't want cereal for dinner. I've been cooking in binges, trying to use up pantry, freezer, and the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve before we move to join my spouse, and spending no time working on photos, videos, etc.
I wanted to do Kristy's book justice, though, so with my constantly cleared off counters I set out to record this recipe and the one that follows, Instant Pot Dijon Pork Chops.

Please see my video on how to make Springtime Risotto with Peas, Parm, and Lemon:

image of ingredients used to make easy weeknight instant pot spring risotto with peas, lemon, and parmesan

Recipe Notes:

One of the neat things about using the Instant Pot is the time you've got while the machine is doing something for you. As you can see in the video, I didn't prepare all the ingredients (chop the onion, measure the wine) first! Instead, while the pot is coming to HOT on the Sauté function, I am chopping the onion. While the onion is cooking, I am measuring out the rice. While the rice is cooking under pressure, I am zesting the lemon. You get the idea--just walk in the door and fire up the machine so you can take your time getting things ready while the Instant Pot is doing the work.

I did not have heavy cream so I used half and half. It was fine. I also used a 12 ounce package of frozen peas, not the 9 ounces Kristy called for. A few extra peas never hurt anyone.

If you have fresh, local--your back yard or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--peas that you'd eat pod & all I recommend chopping them up and tossing the whole thing in the IP. No need to shell fresh peas out of their tender young pea pods. Slice them on a diagonal to make it interesting.

photo of sugar snap peas sliced on the diagonal


A bright side dish with peas and lemon, this creamy risotto cooks up quick and easy in the pressure cooker. The parmesan flavor goes well with pork, chicken, or seafood or as a springtime meatless main course.

For more recipes using peas, please see my Pea Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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Here are some of my other Springtime pea recipes:

photo of a bowl of chilled pea, avocado, and mint buttermilk soupImage of a plate of minted peas topped with crispy baked swai fish

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