Ramps aka wild leeks/wild garlic, can be found growing wild in the Northeast and Midwest of Canada and all the way down the U.S., into the Appalachians. if you are lucky, you may find them at a Farmer’s Market in the spring. They are really, really tasty and why cooks wax poetic when they find them in the spring! Sadly they don’t seem to grow on the Southcoast of British Columbia.
Makes 4 – 6 First Course Servings
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ lb. Italian sausages, casings removed
1/8 tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
12 ramps, trimmed; bulbs & slender stems sliced, green tops thinly sliced
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
½ cup white wine or dry vermouth
3 cups (or more) low salt chicken broth or homemade stock**
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, adding more to suit your taste
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage, cooking until no longer pink, breaking up with a fork, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced ramp bulbs and stems. Sauté until almost tender, approximately 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir 1 minute. Add the wine, cook until it is absorbed. Begin adding the broth 1 cup at a time, simmering and stirring until almost absorbed before the next addition. Cook until the rice is al dente and creamy, approximately 18 minutes. Mix in the green tops of the ramps and the Parmesan, using up to ½ cup cheese. Season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Serve in bowls, passing additional grated cheese if you wish.