By: Jenny Breen
The bright flavors of ramps, green onions, asparagus and fresh herbs make this risotto perfect for spring and summer. Serves 4 as an entrée and 8 as a side dish.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 5 cups stock or water, separated
- 1/2 cup olive oil or butter, separated
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups milk of your choice (use rice, almond, soy etc. for vegan option)
- 1/2 cup white wine (or white wine vinegar with a spoonful of honey)
- 1 bunch ramps (or other spring onions), cleaned well and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups mushrooms (morels if available), cleaned and sliced
- 1 cup fresh bacon or smoked turkey, chopped (skip for a vegan option)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 cup grated hard cheese (skip for a vegan option)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook wild rice in 3 cups water until tender (about 40 minutes), and set aside.
In a large, deep skillet, 1/4 cup olive oil or butter over medium heat and sauté garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked wild rice and slowly add 1 ½ cups of the milk. Stir constantly over medium heat, adding small amounts of wine, stock and more milk. Keep stirring as it gets creamy. Continue to add liquid as needed for 20 to 25 minutes. It should be creamy, not mushy. If you prefer it creamier, continue with the slow cooking and addition of liquid for up to an hour.
In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the ramps/onions, asparagus and mushrooms and saute until tender and slightly caramelized, adding more oil/butter as needed. Next, add meat (if using) and fresh herbs. Add the sautéed vegetables to the wild rice mixture along with more liquid. Simmer on low/medium heat. Fold in the cheese (if using) and mix until well blended, adding more liquid for creamier texture. Finish with salt and pepper.
Ramps, morels and asparagus: The perfect spring flavor combination.
Don’t forget the cheese!