With ramps in season, it’s time to act fast – and this quinoa with baby artichokes and ramps is the perfect showcase for them. Some people would call this kind of dish “quinoa risotto.” Sorry, I don’t really buy quinoa as a risotto grain. Barley or farro risotto, I get that. But quinoa is a different animal – actually, it's a seed – so I’m calling this a pilaf!
fresh lemon zest
extra virgin olive oil
cloves garlic, minced
quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
dry white wine
fresh shelled peas or frozen peas
salt to taste
pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Cut the green ramp leaves off the stems, and chop the stems. Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop in the ramp leaves and blanch for about one minute. Drain and puree in a food processor with the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil. Set aside until needed.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a large bowl of cold water, and throw the squeezed lemon halves into the water, too. Peel away the tough outer leaves of the baby artichokes, until just the more tender light green leaves are left. Cut off the top 1/2 inch from the artichoke and trim the stem of any tough-looking parts. Quarter the artichokes and put them in the lemon water while you start the risotto.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Drain the artichokes from the lemon water and sauté them for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped ramp stems and cook 5 minutes more. Add the quinoa and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine and fresh thyme, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
Add the broth; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peas and simmer another 4-6 minutes, stirring often. (The quinoa should be almost soft but still have a bit of a crunch. You should see a little white ring separating from each grain.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ramp puree and serve.