This was inspired by Lydia Bastianich via Kim Severson from a recipe she made for the Pope a few years ago. I love the bright green color that the pesto makes it. I use frozen edamame in place of favas as I can never seem to get them fresh enough and frankly the prep bores me. But feel free to use favas instead. This is one meal my meat loving husband is happy to have on meatless Mondays.
1/2 cup packed ramp leaves
1 1/2 cups packed spinach leaves
1/3 cup chopped green garlic, green part only, chop and reserve white part for risotto
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 - 1/2 cups roasted walnut oil
3 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons reserved white parts of green garlic (chopped)
2 1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
1/2 cup dry white vermouth
6 - 7 cups vegetable stock, at simmer
1 cup asparagus, cut in 1/2\" pieces on slant, blanched 2 minutes then shocked in ice water, tips reserved separately
1/2 cup frozen edamame, thawed (see head note)
1/2 cup shelled peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely grated parmesan
salt & pepper
Step 1For the pesto: Process everything except oil until finely chopped. Slowly drizzle oil in while machine is running until you have a rough paste. Set aside.
Step 2For risotto: Heat the olive oil in a 3-4 quart pot over medium heat. Cook scallions and garlic together until translucent, stirring often. Add rice, stir to coat and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Pour wine into pot and stir well until absorbed.
Step 3Add ½ cup hot stock and healthy pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until stock is absorbed into rice. Add another ½ cup stock and stir. Add asparagus stem pieces, edamame and peas and stir. Allow stock to be absorbed before adding more stock in ½ cup increments. Stir frequently. Taste after about 15 minutes. You want the rice to be al dente but creamy. Keep adding small amounts of stock, stirring frequently and tasting for doneness. This will take around 20-25 minutes.
Step 4Remove pot from heat and quickly stir in ramp pesto. Add butter and continue to stir quickly until melted; then mix in 1/2 cup cheese. Fold in reserved asparagus tips. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with remaining cheese.