Risotto is one of the most versatile and adaptable dishes out there as it's easy to substitute whatever ingredients are in season, or what you have in your fridge. Here, wild ramps and asparagus — some of the ultimate culinary symbols of spring — are incorporated into a simple preparation that makes a delightful dinner, perhaps along with a salad.
This recipe was originally featured in Ingredient Spotlight: Ramps (and 3 Ramp Recipes).
- 2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Cups asparagus pieces, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Cup cleaned and trimmed ramps (leaves, stems, and bulbs), roughly chopped
- 7-8 Cups vegetable or chicken broth (unsalted)
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped shallot (or onion)
- Kosher salt
- 2 Cups short-grain risotto rice, such as Arborio
- 1 Cup dry white wine (or substitute a cup of broth)
- 1/2 Cup grated or shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, and additional for serving
- 1/4 Cup chopped parsley
Step 1: In a medium sauté pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons butter until foaming. Add 2 cups sliced asparagus and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1 cup chopped ramps and cook a couple of minutes more until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 2: Set a stockpot over medium-high heat and add 7-8 cups broth; bring to a near boil. Reduce to low so broth stays hot, but not continuously simmering.
Step 3: Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a 10-inch Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium heat. Add ½ cup finely chopped shallot (or onion) and scant ½ teaspoon of salt; stir about 7 or 8 minutes or until softened. Lower heat to medium low. Add ½ cup broth and cook another few minutes until the broth is completely gone.
Step 4: Add 2 cups Arborio rice to the pan and raise heat to medium. Stir constantly until the rice is coated with oil (a few minutes). The rice should retain its white color. Add 1 cup white wine to the Dutch oven and stir constantly, cooking a couple of minutes until the wine is almost absorbed.
Step 5: Ladle in 1 1/2 cups broth to barely cover the rice and continue to stir; add another ½ teaspoon salt and adjust heat to maintain cooking at a gentle simmer, all the while continuing to stir.
Step 6: When you see the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is dry enough that the wooden spoon you’re stirring with leaves a trail on the bottom of the pot, add in more broth in increments of 1 cup at a time, always stirring. This process will take about 15 minutes after the first liquid was added. The rice will be nearly cooked, however will not be fully al dente.
Step 7: After you’ve added 5 cups of liquid, add the asparagus and ramp mixture and gently blend into the rice; taste rice for flavor and adjust with additional salt, if necessary. Remove from heat – or continue to cook a little longer until it’s at your desired consistency, adding more broth as you go.
Step 8: Stir in ½ cup grated Parmesan and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Serve and garnish with additional parsley or a chiffonade (sliced leaves into ribbons) of ramp leaves.