Spring certainly has sprung at the farmer’s market. After years of trying, I finally made it to the farmers market early enough to get some. Ramps are one of those foods that has a cult following. As they should. They are a wild onion with a pungent garlic and onion flavor that grows during a very short period in the Spring. I was so excited to cook them. I made them two ways. The first was in a risotto with asparagus, a fellow spring veggie with a short season. The second was on a simple pizza. While the risotto was delish the pizza really showed off the ramp flavor. So good!
The pizza was made with this dough recipe. I made two pies, one with ramps and asparagus and one with ramps only. I put the remaining two pieces of dough in the freezer. I quickly blanched some asparagus and ramps, stretched the dough out onto sheet pans, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled with mozzarella and topped with ramps and asparagus and seasoned with salt and pepper. The pizzas were baked at 450F until the cheese was melted and the bottoms browned.
Now on to the risotto. This is my standard risotto base using the ramp stems as the onion/shallots.
Ramp & Asparagus Risotto
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 bunch of ramps (I think it would be about 1/4 pound)
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Heat chicken stock until and keep warm on stove.
Chop the stalks of the ramps. Saute in a pan with a couple tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook until translucent.
Meanwhile, chop the leaves of the ramps and the asparagus into one inch pieces.
Add rice to pan and stir to coat with oil. Cook for a couple minutes. Add wine to pan and stir until it has evaporated. Ladle some stock into the pan while stirring continuously. When the liquid has evaporated add more stock. When you are halfway though the stock add the asparagus. When the stock is almost gone add the rest of the ramps. After the stock is all used up and the rice is tender remove from the burner and add the butter and cheese. Stir to combine. Best served right away but it also makes pretty great leftovers.