There's a reason why foodies are so fanatical about ramps; the wild leeks are the first sure sign that Spring has arrived, especially in areas home to a long Winter. But be aware of their short season: the minute ramps arrive, the window on their availability is already beginning to close.
If you're not deterred by garlicky breath, uncooked ramps have a pungency that adds punch to homemade pesto. Or, enjoy them in a mellower state, as I like to do, by sauteing their stalks and greens until translucent, and slowly melding their sweetness into a rich, creamy risotto. The recipe, when you continue reading.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Makes four first-course portions, or two regular-sized portions.
1 small shallot, ﬁnely chopped
Pinch of red-pepper ﬂakes
1 cup Vialone nano rice (Conant recommends Campanini brand)
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
4 cups chicken broth, simmering in separate pot on stove
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Kosher salt to taste
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Makes four first-course portions, or two regular-sized portions.