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Ramp Risotto

Ramp risotto in a bowl


2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup trimmed and roughly chopped ramps
7 cups homemade or reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups short-grain risotto rice, such as arborio
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a medium sauté pan, heat the butter until foaming, then add the ramps and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Bring the broth almost to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to very low; the broth should stay hot but not simmer.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 3–4 quart straight-sided sauté pan at least 10 inches wide. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook slowly, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, lower the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the water is completely gone and the onion is soft and glistening but not browned, another 5–10 minutes.

Add the rice to the pan and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, to coat the rice with the oil, about 3 minutes. Toasted rice should still be white and glistening, but you should hear a clicking sound when you stir it.

Pour in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s mostly absorbed, 2–3 minutes.

Stir the mushrooms and their soaking liquid into the rice, and cook, stirring, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Ladle in 1-1/2 to 2 cups broth to barely cover the rice and stir constantly. Add another 1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and keep stirring. When all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is dry enough that your stirring spoon leaves a trail showing the bottom of the pot, ladle in another cup of broth, again stirring until it’s all absorbed. Continue adding broth in 1-cup increments, always stirring, until the rice is nearly but not fully al dente; this is usually 12–16 minutes after the first addition of liquid.

When the risotto is a few minutes away from al dente, stir in the sautéed ramps.

After you’ve added 5 cups of liquid, (16–20 minutes from the first liquid addition), taste the rice to determine if it’s al dente and pleasantly creamy. If it is, remove it immediately from the heat. Otherwise, let it cook a little longer, incorporating more broth. Gently stir in the cheese and parsley and serve immediately.


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