Risotto is a fun (and truly Italian) ways to prepare rice. It’s unique from other rice dishes because it’s cooked in broth until it reaches a delicious, creamy consistency. It may have a reputation for being a complicated dish, but this Instant Pot Barley Risotto with Spring Greens reduces the hands-on time significantly, making it practical for a weeknight family dinner.
In this dish we traded the rice for barley, which makes a wonderful replacement due to its nutty flavor and chewy texture. Barley contains soluble fiber, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, as well as insoluble fiber, which can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. Other nutrient-rich ingredients include garlic for cancer prevention, fresh greens for folate and fiber, pine nuts for healthy fats, and extra virgin olive oil for vitamin E.
But this isn’t just a “healthy” recipe, it is also one of my favorites based solely on taste! It’s a simple yet impressive spring dish with complex carbohydrates, bright flavors, and a rich, creamy texture. There’s also pretty pops of green, yellow, and pink for a colorful plate. I love seeing different colors on my plate because that means I am getting a variety of antioxidants through my food (they say to eat the rainbow, right?).
Another great thing about this recipe that anyone who has ever made risotto will understand is the time saving. Traditional risotto requires a long hands-on cooking time spent stirring in stock, waiting, and stirring some more. Using the Instant Pot drastically reduces the hands-on time.
Have you ever tried making risotto? I hope you’ll try this delicious Instant Pot recipe and tell me how you liked it! Also check out my risotto-style Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice.
Turn the Instant Pot on to the sauté function and wait for it to get hot. Add oil, onion, shallot, and garlic, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent. Add barley and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes or until barley is toasted. Add wine, scraping the bottom of the Instant Pot to release any browned bits. Stir in broth and salt. Press cancel to stop the sauté function.
Cover Instant Pot, and, using manual setting, set to 15 minutes on high pressure, making sure the pressure valve is sealed. When done, allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, and then quick release the pressure.
Turn the Instant Pot on to the sauté function. If the liquid has not been completed absorbed, cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Then stir in baby kale and spinach. Cook 2 minutes longer or until the greens wilt. Turn off the Instant Pot, and stir in Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and lemon zest. Season with pepper to taste. Serve topped with thinly sliced radishes and toasted pine nuts, if desired.
-By Savannah Potts, Culinary Intern