April 22, 2012

Spring Risotto

I was in Madison yesterday for the first day of the Dane County farmers' market, and it was wonderful.  For some people spring kicks off with opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers, for me it's the day when spring vegetables become available at farmers' markets.

It's early, so the selection was limited, but I still found quite a few things I wanted.  I purchased rhubarb, asparagus, ramps, popcorn and strawberry-rhubarb jam.  I used the asparagus and ramps today to make a spring risotto for lunch, and it was so good that I ate until I was beyond full.

Yesterday was the first time I had ever seen ramps.  The sign said "first and last chance to buy ramps," so I grabbed three bunches.  Apparently, our freakishly warm March weather caused the ramps to peak early this year.

Elise of Simply Recipes, gives a nice introduction to ramps...
"Also known as wild leeks or ramsons, ramps are one of the first delicacies of spring."
"You use ramps like green onions or young spring garlic."

Asparagus Risotto

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 cup frozen edamame (or frozen peas)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bunches ramps, white parts only, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (about a 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add edamame and asparagus, cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In the same large saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  • Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan (I use a 3.5 qt pan), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ramps (or onion) and garlic; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice, cook 1 minute.
  • Add a ladle full of hot broth mixture to the rice, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed, adding broth until there's just a bit of broth left and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining broth, edamame, asparagus, and shredded carrot. Stir until rice is slightly creamy. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
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  1. Your risotto is so pretty! I love the carrots and spinach in this too.

    1. The funny part is that I forgot to mix in the spinach before I took a photo. It's really green with all the spinach mixed in but still pretty :) I had this risotto for 3 meals this week and loved it every time!