Cauliflower and Spinach Risotto

Have you ever had risotto?  Risotto is one of those dishes that I used to only be able to get at restaurants and would roll my eyes in ecstasy when I saw it on the menu.  Still to this day, my favorite dish at a restaurant ever is a Brasilian risotto at Kevin and my favorite restaurant near our college town.  We actually went there for our first date (4 years ago, today happens to be our 4 year dating anniversary :)).

Until recently, the fancy name and decadent nature of a risotto had me resigned to think of it as a restaurant only food.  No more!  In Jill Nussinow's amazing pressure cooking cookbook, The New Fast Food, she walks you through how perfectly easy and delicious making risotto at home can be.

To make the recipe below, I adapted her Basic Risotto recipe (page 53) to include cauliflower "rice", some of my favorite spices, and some frozen spinach (as she recommends on page 54).  I included cauliflower "rice" in this recipe 1.) to cut down on calories (aka so I can eat more of it), and 2.) to use up some cauliflower I had had in my fridge since last week.

Lately, I have been getting most of my produce from Costco, as I discussed in this post.  So, when I pick a veggie to eat, I generally need to commit to it, as they come in larger quantities from Costco.  I had had some steamed cauliflower for dinner the other day, but other than that, the cauliflower in my fridge wasn't calling my name, UNTIL, I remembered you can make "rice" with cauliflower!  I may not be into eating a full cup or so of cauliflower florets this week, but I can get onboard with "rice"!

This recipe is more strictly a Pressure Cooker recipe, as I have never made risotto without my IP.  If you give it a shot on the stovetop, please let me know how it goes and what times it took everything to cook!

Cauliflower and Spinach Risotto
Pressure Cooker Time: 5 minute prep, 5 minutes at pressure, quick release
Servings: 4 servings

        1/2 onion, finely chopped
        3-4 cloves garlic, pressed
        4 cups vegetable broth
        1+1/2 cup arborio rice
        1 tsp dried basil
        1/2 tsp dried parsley
        1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)

        2 cups uncooked "riced" cauliflower (directions here)
        1/2 cup water

        1-10oz package frozen spinach, defrosted and liquid squeezed out
        lemon juice and nutritional yeast to garnish

1.)  In a heated pressure cooker, saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, adding small amounts of water to prevent burning.
2.)  Add in the vegetable broth, arborio rice, and spices.  Lock the lid in place and cook at high pressure for 3 minutes.
3.)  Quick release the pressure.
4.)  After the pressure has been release, take care to remove the lid, then stir in the "riced" cauliflower and additional 1/2 cup water.
5.)  Lock the lid in place again and cook at high pressure for 2 additional minutes.
6.)  Quick release the pressure.
7.)  Remove the lid and stir in the spinach.  Season with black pepper and lemon juice to taste.  Serve hot with some nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.

Amy's Notes:
For this recipe, the type of rice is very important!  Arborio rice is particularly for risotto, so traditional brown rice varieties won't work, at least not with the amount of time I suggested.

Once the recipe was done, I was super surprised not to taste the cauliflower at all.  I know it is there, but if I didn't make it, I wouldn't have known.  Yay for hidden veggies!

Health and Happiness,


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