Ramps, the fleeting spring onion, are delicious in a creamy risotto.
The Garden of Eating
I am a big fan of risotto – it's creamy, filling, hearty, as well as a perfect palette for flavors both subtle and bold. As I was reading through recipes online (I looked at Scott Conant's recipe in NY Magazine and DOC's recipe on The Kitchn), I knew the combination of the garlicky ramps, fresh, floral lemon and creamy risotto would be delicious.
I began by separating the ramp stalks from the leaves so that I'd be able to cook each part for the best flavor and consistency.
You don't add the chopped up greens until the very end of cooking, then you fold them into the risotto, along with the lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.
Just a little lemon zest adds a world of light flavor to this dish. And thanks to my beloved microplane zester, it only takes a few seconds to produce a lovely little pile of zest.
The first step of the cooking process is to sautée the chopped ramp stalks and shallot in butter.
Once the ramp stalks and shallot have softened, you add the Arborio rice and sautée it for a few minutes, stirring all the while, until the edges of each grain of rice edges become opaque and the center turns white.
Then comes the tedious part – add stock and stir repeatedly until it's absorbed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat...
Just when you begin to fear that your arm may actually drop off from all the stirring, it's time to fold in the ramp greens, lemon zest and grated Parmesan cheese!
Stir well to ensure even distribution of these yummy late-stage additions.
Now it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Yum!