How to make a perfect (brown rice) risotto in pressure cooker


risotto in pressure cooker


Time:         prep. 2-3 mins
                   cook. 18-23 mins brown rice
                   6-9 mins arborio rice etc
Difficulty:  very easy
Yields:       for 2 servings
Cost:          low


For over 13 years now, I prefer to cook risotto in pressure cooker. I started doing this ‘madness’ on board, and continue to execute it everywhere.
Even if in our “floating house” certain energy saving actions are necessary steps for simple survival, no one forbids to obtain the same useful results – first of all for the family budget- for the whole community, even in the comfort of a ‘land house’ with gas and water supply.

For this and various other reasons related to sustainability, such as reducing our water consumption, food or energy waste, I think people should spend at least one month a year in a boat or in camper, in a tent or in a mountain chalet. This would finally overcome the misplaced fear of using pressure cookers: judging by the comments I frequently read, I think it is an almost “atavic” fear.
Believe me, if you pay attention to the little things like cleaning properly, or not filling above the indicated level, or constantly monitoring during the short cooking time, your pressure cooker will not risk any explosion; of course, as the first rule, rely on a proper and well maintained equipment.

On CHE Food Revolution I often talk about how to be more sustainable by reducing unnecessary consumption of food (see here the CHEtarian diet); to be healthier by increasing the absorption of nutrients in our downsized plates; in other words, the basics of mindful eating. It is not a complex practice and there is no need to be a homebody; it only requires organization and a certain amount of determination. In return, as well as easily decreasing your food consumption, you will kill several birds with one stone, whether you live on a boat, in a camper or a house: you will always have healthy and sustainable food that you can prepare in a short time (so even those who come back late from work, will no longer have excuses not to eat well); you will consume less energy, less money and less plastic (ready-made food may not cost much in terms of budget, but it weighs heavily on the environment, on health and in any case remains less convenient than the one prepared at home, even if you choose first-quality ingredients); you will lose your excess weight but feeling also stronger; and the satisfaction of producing all these positive actions, will make you a happier person.

So that’s why I suggest you prepare this risotto in pressure cooker, instead of buying a ready frozen rice, sold in a plastic bag, which costs no less than 3 euros and barely satiates 1 hungry person.
With a lot less money you can afford an organic rice (if you want, brown), you can use seasonal vegetables, maybe even zero km, and you can turn your risotto creamy with organic cheese and oil, both healthy and sustainable, without having to spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen.



for brown leek risotto in pressure cooker

1 cup of brown rice (for every ingredient instead of a cup I use a glass of 200 ml)
2 cups of vegetable broth
Half a glass of white wine, approx 150 ml (optional)
1 whole leek (including the green part)
1 carrot
1 tablespoon of evoo oil
salt, black pepper (optional)

for garnish

10 g of grated Parmesan cheese (optional: I did not put it)
1 tablespoon raw evoo oil (optional: I put it) or 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
or a squeeze of lemon (very optional: I put it)



After having washed it under running water, you can also soak the rice (at least half an hour for the white one, or two hours for the brown one, I will explain below why you had better do this optional procedure). I know that the classical risotto needs all the starch that the rice contains and you should not wash it for not loosing its creaminess, but by washing it, we will remove a part of eventual pesticide residues (see here the suggestions to reduce their concentration in food); but also a part of its glycemic index, because in a diet in which we try to consume smaller quantities of food, keeping glycemic peaks at bay assumes a considerable importance.

Extra tip

For the soaking phase I prefer to dedicate at least 12 hours (because I normally use brown rice); in this way I try to reduce both the cooking time (5 minutes less), making it soften, and the concentration of inorganic arsenic: naturally present in rice, in particular in brown and basmati rice, but also in industrial products such as rice biscuits or puffed rice, with significantly higher concentrations.
Nothing to fear, however, at least for us Western adults who do not follow a diet based on rice (1-2 times a week 1), unlike the Asian peoples (for example in Bangladesh 179.9 kg per person are consumed annually, against the world average of about 53.5 kg 2).

In order not to run unnecessary risks, however, I avoid combining the various rice products in the same day: if, for example, I drink rice milk for breakfast, I do not eat risotto for lunch or rice cakes as a snack.

But if you really do not want arsenic in your rice, because maybe you are pregnant or have small children at home, I have a suggestion for you: in addition to a longer duration of soaking, cook the rice first in plenty of water (according to researcher Prof Andy Meharg of the University of Belfast (3) in addition to the long soaking, cooking one part of rice in five parts of water, you get a reduction of arsenic by 80%) then drain it and wash it with hot water, only then add the other ingredients of the risotto.
By way of information I would like to point out that although I am aware of this “peculiarity”, I still prefer brown rice, in order not to renounce to its vitamins and mineral salts and to its low glycemic index

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Meanwhile, wash the leek and carrot under running water.
In order to obtain a greater creaminess with less starch and less cheese, we will take advantage of our veggies, so cut them into two different sizes: one is quite thin (to obtain a pureè) and the other is a bit larger.
Put the oil in the pot and add the vegetables.
Immediately after add the rice and let it deglaze with white wine while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
Then cover with hot vegetable broth, salt and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook on a high flame until it hisses and then lower the intensity; after about 15-25 minutes (for brown rice)we will have cooked the risotto in pressure cooker. If instead you would like to use a normal pot, consider at least 30-50 minutes of cooking: the difference in time depends on the type of rice you have purchased, so follow the advice on the package.
Set aside some hot vegetable stock, to be added as the rice absorbs it and/or evaporates during cooking.
At the end of cooking, make your risotto creamy with cheese and oil or butter for a more traditional taste; or for a burst of flavor and a reduced Glycemic Index, add a tablespoon of lemon juice (to see where else you can use the “lemon trick” I recommend reading this article).

Enjoy your risotto and good revolution to all


Sintesi dei principali risultati
(2) Faostat Last Updated: March 17, 2020 / UN’s specialised agency’s report titled the “The Food Outlook.
(3) How to cut worrying levels of arsenic in rice that is eaten all over the world July 22, 2015
Source Queen’s University Belfast


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