I have been a bit behind in my writing so this post isn't as seasonally appropriate as it should be but it is still a good recipe.
Of all the spring foragables that
people rave about ramps are by far my favorites. I have tried ramps in just
about every imaginable way; I am like Bubba from Forest Gump when it comes to
ramps. I like to pickle them, and fry them, and ferment them and you can make;
ramp fried rice and ramp omelets and ramp pesto and ramp chimichurri. I could
literally go on for hours like that. One of my favorite ways to use ramps is to
make a French onion dip with them. Last
year I made a ramp Kraut and holy god is it powerful, you don’t need much of it
but it is so good.
The only downfall to ramps is that they
don’t last, for about 2 months I can find them everywhere and then the leaves
die off and they flower. You can still eat the bulb portions but I find that
they get a little fibrous in the summer time. That is why I like to find as
many ways as possible to use them and preserve them for the rest of the year.
Things like ramp pesto and ramp butter freeze well and can be used all through
Usually the month of May is packed with
ramps at my house. I try to keep a couple on one gallon freezer bags full of
ramps in the crisper drawer in the fridge so I can add them to everything I am
cooking. I recently caught some fish and had the idea to wrap the fish in ramp
leaves and then wrap them in bacon and grill them. It was some of the best fish
I have ever eaten. Another spring time vegetable that pairs well with ramps is
asparagus. The first recipe I got published in a cookbook was for a Ramp and
Asparagus salad. I like to combine the two as often as I can. Last week I had
been given some beautiful asparagus and I already had a bag of ramps in the
fridge so I thought about how I would combine the two.
Ramp and Asparagus Risotto
8 oz. Asparagus (blanched and cut into
bite sized pieces)
5 cups vegetable stock (kept warm on
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Separate the stems and bulbs from the
leaves and then diced the stems and bulbs. Cut the leaves into bite sized
pieces and set aside.
Heat the oil and one tablespoon of the
butter over medium heat, add the diced stems and bulbs and cook until soft, 3-4
Add the rice and stir until all the
rice is coated with oil and the rice kernels start to turn translucent.
Stir in the ½ cup of wine and continue
stir until almost all the wine is absorbed. Then stir in the stock a half cup
at a time, adding more stock before the rice absorbs it all.
Keep adding stock and stirring until
the rice is the texture and consistency you like, at this point stir in the
chopped ramp leaves and asparagus and add the remaining stock. Season with salt
Add the last tablespoon of butter and
stir until combined, serve with a little fresh grated parmigiano reggiano