Ramp Risotto

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No matter what cuisine you favor, if you love eating local, seasonal food grown with minimal impact on the earth, ramps are for you. The short season for these wild-growing cousins of leeks is right now, and it might be hard to see what all the fuss is about until you try them yourself. More garlicky and robust than leeks, they lend a unique flavor to anything in which you might enjoy onions and garlic. And I think we savor the flavor all the more knowing that the opportunity to enjoy it is limited to just a few weeks a year. My first instinct is to use ramps in risotto, and I think they would be fantastic in scrambled eggs or frittatas—or matzah balls or latkes, for that matter.

They are so prized in West Virginia where I just bought some that the people at the farmer’s market stand won’t tell you exactly where the ramps grow, other than “around here” in an area only accessible by canoe. So if you live east of the Mississippi and north of South Carolina, look for ramps in your farmer’s markets—and it’s okay to be delighted when you find them. The farmer will just smile knowingly at you.



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