Wild Ramp and Lemon Risotto

Serves 4 – 6

*1 large bunch of wild ramps (8-10), cleaned and trimmed with the roots removed

  • 2 large shallots

  • 2 Tbps olive oil or butter

  • 7 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock

  • 2 cups Arborio rice (risotto)

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Separate the ramp stalks from the greens and chop each, keeping them separate. Finely chop the shallots.

  2. Heat the stock in a saucepan (you’ll want to position this right behind whatever burner you plan to use for the risotto pan since you’re going to be ladling stock into the pan continuously during the cooking process.) Cover the stock and leave it on low at a simmer (it will need to stay hot the entire time you’re cooking the risotto.)

  3. In a large, heavy bottomed pan (there are special risotto pans but although nice, they’re not necessary) melt the butter and cook the onion on medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with butter. Sautée the rice for 2-3 minutes until the rice becomes chalky and you can see a white dot in the center of each grain. Then add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until it’s been absorbed.

  5. Now the fun begins (by the end of this, your arm will be very tired!) Add one cup of the hot stock to the pan and stir until it has all been absorbed by the rice – if you don’t stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed with each addition, the rice will get very gummy).

  6. Continue to add stock, one cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed the liquid and starts to seem dry before adding more stock. Once you’ve added 6 cups of the stock, you should start adding 1/2 cup at a time. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked through but still a little al dente, about 30 minutes total (you may not end up using all of the stock but it should be pretty close — if you run out of stock, you can substitute hot water towards the end.)

  7. Turn off the heat, add the chopped ramp greens, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese, mix well to incorporate, then season with salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.