Ramping Up Your Risotto

Ramp week would not be complete at EDA without a risotto recipe!  Since I’ve been a little busy lately (trying my hand at cheesemongering), I had to throw last night’s dinner together with what was on hand.  Scallops and ramps came from the Greenmarket over the weekend.  Fresh chives came from a friend’s backyard.  Crab was an unopened container purchased at Trader Joe’s that was in the back of the refrigerator.  And I always have cheese…

When I make risotto, it’s always based off of the basic recipe I learned when I studied in Venice.  The quality of ingredients and a little love as you slowly stir in the stock turn it from a peasant dish into something spectacular.  That’s why I love to make risi bisi with fresh peas – another spring favorite!

A Great Use For Fresh Peas

Risi Bisi: A Great Use For Fresh Peas

From this foundation, I’ve made risotto with ramps, fiddlehead ferns and morels.  Feel free to play around with these ingredients based on what you have on hand.

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Essence of Spring Risotto- Another Ramp Recipe!

This ramp recipe is a little less daunting, and you certainly can omit the crabmeat and even the scallops, if you want.  Have fun with your cooking!

IMG_4178Risotto with Ramps, Crabmeat and Pan-Seared Scallops
Serves 2.

Ingredients
1/2 a bunch of ramps (~ 1/4 lb)
1 tbps of chopped fresh chives
1/2 a large scallion or small onion, finely diced
4 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of Carnaroli rice (or Arborio)
1/4 cup of white wine (or rose)
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, warmed
1/2 cup of lump crabmeat
6-8 sea scallops
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmigiana plus extra for sprinkling
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Melt 1 and 1/2 tbsps of butter in a large saucepan over medium to medium low.  Saute the ramp ends, chives and scallions in the butter for about 2 minutes.  Then add the rice.  Saute for about 2 minutes until you see the whites of the rice.  Next, add in the wine and saute for another minute or so until it’s absorbed.

Then add the stock, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until it’s soaked up and adding more as needed.  Continue stirring and adding stock for about 15 minutes in total or until the rice starts to become softer and slightly creamy.

In a separate pan, over medium low, melt 1 tbsp of butter and saute the ramp leaves and crabmeat for about 2 minutes.  Then add to the risotto for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  Once the rice is cooked to your liking (about 20 minutes), stir in the cheese.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Melt remaining butter in the same pan (I hate having to do multiple dishes), over medium high heat, then pan-sear the scallops about 2 minutes per side.

To plate: add a scoop of risotto and top with the scallops.  Have extra parm on hand.

To drink:  Whatever wine you used for the dish is always a good option!

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