Friends, it’s SPRING!!!!! It’s really here! I’ve spent some green on plants that I hope to keep alive for as long as humanly possible (let’s just say I don’t have the best track record), and some of them may even show up here in future recipe posts. The rest are just pretty. Do you think four different colors of geraniums is too many? Me either. Glad we agree on that.
When spring arrives, that means it’s time for ASPARAGUS. It just seems to be the ambassador of the season, like the signal that it’s time to eat all the green things. But even though it’s spring, I still crave comfort food, so that’s why the asparagus is going to bring the spring to this warm and comforting vegan risotto. And we’re going to make it in the Instant Pot, which makes our lives easier and doesn’t heat up our kitchen very much. Unless you don’t have an Instant Pot, in which case, fear not, because I have included stovetop instructions because I like you and you need risotto too.
Video: Instant Pot Vegan Spring Risotto
Oh, hey, Pass the Plants is now on YouTube!!! I’m so pumped to be bringing you into my kitchen and sharing the recipes with you in video form. I’ve even got a little production crew, and they are kind enough to let me pay them in food (for now), and these last few weeks we’ve encountered pretty much every technical challenge possible. But we’ve had fun, and we persisted despite the roadblocks, and now there are a handful of videos on the channel, including this one!
Ok, first off, gather your ingredients. It’s a short list, with nothing that can’t be found in a regular grocery store. We’ve got:
- Chickpeas (save the aquafaba!)
- Vegetable broth (I use bouillon cubes + water)
- Savory Cashew Cream (optional)
- Arborio rice (which is what makes risotto, risotto)
First, briefly cook the asparagus with a couple tablespoons of water in the Instant Pot using the saute function. You just want to cook them long enough so they are bright green and barely cooked. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to keep that beautiful color and stop the cooking process.Then saute the onion for a few minutes until softened, then cook the mushrooms until most of their liquid has released.
Next, stir in the rice and toast for 1-2 minutes, to activate the starch in the rice (that’s what makes it creamy in the end). Add in the chickpeas and the vegetable broth. Close the lid of the Instant Pot, making sure the valve is in the “Sealing” position. Cook for 5 minutes at high pressure using the “Manual” function. When the cooking time is up, release the pressure by switching the valve from “Sealing” to “Venting.” Stand back because there will be a lot of (really good-smelling) steam.
Drain the asparagus and add it to the pot, then stir to combine and warm the asparagus. If you’d like, add 1/4 cup of savory cashew cream just to bump up the creamy factor even more, but it’s totally optional. It tastes wonderful either way.
You’re already at the store looking for the asparagus, aren’t you? Leave some for me, please.
2 cups arborio rice
1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
1 white or yellow onion, diced
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 cups vegetable broth (I used Better than Boullion Vegetable Base)
15 ounce can chickpeas, drained (save the liquid for another use, gotta love aquafaba!)
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into 2-inch pieces
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Savory Cashew Cream
- Set the Instant Pot to the saute function.
- Add two tablespoons of water to the cooking insert, and add the asparagus.
- Cook asparagus for 2-3 minutes until bright green.Remove asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- Add oil (if using), and onions. Cook onions for 3-5 minutes, until starting to become translucent.
- Add the mushrooms, and cook until they start to brown and most of the liquid has cooked out.
- Add the rice and stir for 1-2 minutes until the rice has started to release a bit of starch and get toasted.
- Add the vegetable broth and chickpeas, and stir to combine, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Lock the lid and set to manual high pressure for 5 minutes. Make sure the valve is set to sealing.
- When the cooking time has elapsed, release the pressure with the quick release valve until the pressure indicator goes down.
- Stir risotto, adding in savory cashew cream, if using.
- Drain asparagus and add to the risotto, stirring to combine and heat asparagus through.
- Season with salt & pepper if desired, and serve immediately.
- In a medium saucepan, saute the asparagus in two tablespoons of water for 2 minutes, until the asparagus turns bright green and is just barely cooked.
- Remove asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- In the same pan, add olive oil (if using) and onions, and saute for 3-5 minutes until the onion has softened.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until the moisture has evaporated and they start to take on some color.
- Add in the rice and toast with the onions and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, to activate the starch in the rice and help it start to release.
- Stir in the chickpeas and 1 cup of broth.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is nearly evaporated.
- Repeat with the remaining broth one cup at a time, stirring between additions until the liquid is all absorbed and the rice is creamy and cooked through. If the rice is not cooked, you may need to add some additional broth until it is done, up to two more cups.
- Turn off the heat, and add in the cashew cream, if using.
- Drain the asparagus and stir into the risotto.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired, and serve immediately.